This is an extract of our Criminal Liability Secondary Liability And Complicity Aid, Abett, Council Or Procure document, which we sell as part of our Criminal Liability Notes collection written by the top tier of University College Dublin students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Liability Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
COMPLICITY IN CRIME
When two or more people are involved in committing a criminal offence
Conspiracy - the harm has not materialised.
This area of law is divided into two parts:
1. Accessorial or secondary liability
2. The doctrine of common design/ joint enterprise
They are distinct and have different principles, however there are over laps and sometimes it can be arguable both ways.
1. Accessorial/ secondary
• There are accessories, and principal offenders.
• Principal- decision, conspiracy shared with other people, and the accessories help out or assist the principal offender
• Principal offender tells someone of their intention to commit a murder, and the accessory says that they will lure them out of the house into a location where the offence can be committed properly.
• Aiding and abetting are elements of this.
• Procuring is another.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT
talks aboutaiding, abetting, councils or procures > anyone can be as liable as the principal offender for an indictable offence
even though you have not fulfilled the actus reus, you can be equated with the person that has.
Common design completed version of conspiracy when there are equal principal offenders involves a plan its an agreement to commit an act that all members are in on.
again, there can be one person doing the actus reus of murder for example, and one person handing the gun to you - statute says you can all be equally liable
If you are a party to a common design, and the harm materialises, all the parties end up in the same place. There is the same outcome for all
There is a blurred line, but to determine>
• ➢ If there are one or more parties that you can clearly place a title of a principal offender on, and then more external or secondary members helping out it'll likely be accessoryship
➢ If there are one of more parties agreeing on committing an offence from the outset, it'll likely be common design.
➢ What was the plan? What was the agreement? Mens rea important. Must ask questions as to the details of what was agreed to happen by each member etc. If a group agrees to rob a bank, and a person is subsequently killed, it's relevant whether a party agreed to violence or just the robbing of a bank, did they know another member had a gun?
➢ The jury will infer from the surrounding circumstances whether someone is credible in their spoken evidence - a lot of the time there will be incorrect facts and people will claim that they were joking or did not fully intend to do something, or claim something that diminishes their liability.
•Where A commits an offence and B assists or encourages him in the commission of that offence
One can be held liable…
Similar to inchoate offences, secondary or accessorial
Apply to all existing offences.
Common law rules of general application.
For the rules to apply
Principal must have committed an offence
Common law doctrine thatHelping or encouraging a principal offender was not a distinct offence in itself but was
Any person who aids, abets, councils or procures the commission of an indictable offence shall be liable to be indicted, tried and punished as a principal offender
This is despite the fact they are named a secondary offender.
AIDS, ABETS, COUNCILS AND PROCURES:
Attorney General's Ref 1975 No.1
Aiding:The provision of assistance of some kind by the accessory to the principal offender which enables the commission of the offence.
Providing a weapon or information or acting as a lookout or the getaway driver
LJ ToulsonIt is for the jury apply their common sense and sense of fairness to determine what aiding amounts to
He notes that it is difficult to determine DPP v Egan 1989
Massive armed robbery - jewellery worth 1.5 million pounds stolen from a premise in Harold's cross.
Egan made his workshop available to the robbers and the brought the jewellery there, and was convicted of robbery.
He argued - I cannot be convicted of robbery as I was not present at the scene of the crime.Aiders and abettors act back then - liable to be tried and convicted as a principal offender
'a person may aid and abet the commission of a crime and may not be present when it is committed'
PPL DPP v O'Reilly
That point was overlooked.
Post office robbery where O'Reilly allegedly drove the getaway car. DC judge dismissed it - he was not present when it was committed, and he was not a robber
Learned District Justice was wrong in law…'question is whether the D had'knowingly and wilfully aided and abetted the commission of the offence set out on the charge sheet.'
Note he used aiding and abetting together, and so did the judge in Egan.
➢ Counselling and aiding are together in the dictionary, and also …
➢ Campbell et al argues that abetting is done at the scene of a crime, and counselling is in the run up to the crime.
CounsellingThe giving of encouragement in relation to the principal offence.
R v GiannettooPatting someone on the back and saying 'oh goodie' is sufficient
AG;s Ref 1975 No.1
Question was whether a person is liable for procuring the offence of drink driving by spiking someone's drink.
The court said yes.'to procure means to produce by endeavour. You procure a thing by setting out to see that it happen and taking the appropriate steps to produce that happening'
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