Criminal Law: Defences vs. Denials of Offending

August 3, 2023

Defences are legal arguments raised by the defendant to justify their actions or mitigate their liability. These involve the defendant admitting that they possessed both the mens rea and the actus reus required for the offence at the same time but allows the defendant to try and prove that they had a valid reason for acting the way they did. They aim to negate elements of the offence or excuse the defendant’s behaviour. Whereas denials of offending involve the defendant disputing that they did not commit the offence because they could not possess the required mens rea due to an incapacity.

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