Aiding and Abetting in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R v Maxwell (Note)
    • House of Lords
    • 19 October 1978

    It directs attention to the state of mind of the accused—not what he ought to have in contemplation, but what he did have: it avoids definition and classification, while ensuring that a man will not be convicted of aiding and abetting any offence his principal may commit, but only one which is within his contemplation.

  • MT (Article 1F(A) - Aiding and Abetting) Zimbabwe
    • Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
    • 02 February 2012

    Aiding and abetting encompasses any assistance, physical or psychological, that has a substantial effect on the commission of the crime. Article 2 para 3(d) of the 1996 Draft Code requires that aiding and abetting should be “direct and substantial”, i.e. the contribution should facilitate the commission of a crime in “some significant way”.

  • Z Ltd v A-Z and AA-LL
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 16 December 1981

    In my opinion this argument misunderstands the true nature of the liability of the third party. It is true that his conduct may very often be seen as possessing a dual character of contempt of court by himself and aiding and abetting the contempt by another, but the conduct will always amount to contempt of court by himself. It will be conduct which knowingly interferes with the administration of justice by causing the order of the court to be thwarted.

  • DPP for Northern Ireland v Lynch
    • House of Lords
    • 12 March 1975

    The judges have always assumed responsibility for deciding questions of principle relating to criminal liability and guilt and particularly for setting the standards by which the law expects normal men to act. I would leave cases of direct killing by a principal in the first degree to be dealt with as they arise.

    The actus rea is the supplying of an instrument for a crime or anything essential for its commission. The act of supply must be voluntary (in the sense I tried to define earlier in the speech), and it must be foreseen that the instrument or other object or service supplied will probably be used for the commission of a crime. Slade J. thought the very concept of aiding and abetting imported the concept of motive.

  • Attorney General v Times Newspapers Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 11 April 1991

    These examples of case 2 show that the test for deciding whether C has committed a contempt of court is whether C has by his conduct knowingly impeded or interfered with the administration of justice by the court in the action between A and B. That was the test applied in each of the three authorities referred to above.

  • R (Pretty) v DPP
    • House of Lords
    • 29 November 2001

    "The Commission does not consider that the activity for which the applicant was convicted, namely aiding and abetting suicide, can be described as falling into the sphere of his private life in the manner elaborated above. While it might be thought to touch directly on the private lives of those who sought to commit suicide, it does not follow that the applicant's rights to privacy are involved.

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  • Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015
    • Scotland
    • January 01, 2015
  • Suicide Act 1961
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1961
    ... ... or infanticide shall ... apply also to aiding, abetting, ... counselling or procuring suicide ... The Children and ... ...
  • Sexual Offences Act 1956
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1956
    ... ... a way which shows he is aiding, abetting or compelling her ... prostitution with others, shall be ... ...
  • Criminal Attempts Act 1981
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1981
    ... ... section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 or any other enactment) ;(b) aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring or suborning the commission of an ... ...
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