Relevance of Mens Rea in Statutory Offences

13 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2012

See all articles by Zamie Habib

Zamie Habib

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March, 31 2012


The paper deals with stages leading to the recognition of a mental element in criminal liability. A court could rightly convict a man, only if there was a moral wickedness or guilty knowledge in him. This concept was supplemented by the test of foresight of consequences ,according to which a man should not be punished unless he had been aware that what he was doing might lead to mischievous results, and he must have had foresight of the consequences of his conduct .Thus the three principles are, strict accountability, mens rea and foresight of consequences. Of these, the latter two are so inextricably bound together that they really form one central idea, which is expressed by the famous maxim: actus non facit reum, nisi mens rea. The act itself does not constitute guilt unless done with a guilty intent. The intent and the act must both concur to constitute the crime.

Keywords: Mens Rea, Statutory Offences, Strict Liability

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Habib, Zamie, Relevance of Mens Rea in Statutory Offences (March, 31 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Zamie Habib (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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