Criminal Law: What is Mens Rea?

August 3, 2023

Originating from ‘guilty mind’, mens rea is the state of mind of a person when committing a crime. It involves the defendant’s intention, knowledge, or awareness of the criminality of their action. Different levels of mens rea exist, including intention, recklessness, knowledge, and negligence. Different offences will have different mens rea requirements, for example, recklessness may be sufficient to determine liability for a basic-intent offence but will not be sufficient for a specific-intent crime which requires a higher level of mens rea.

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