Common law offences

Discuss the difference between Common Law and the Statutory Acts made by the Powers that be, (PTB)

Common law offences

Postby holy vehm » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:58 pm

Common law offences are crimes under English criminal law and the related criminal law of Commonwealth of Nations countries. These are offences of the common law which are developed entirely by the courts over the years, and for which there is no actual legislation.

The various common law offences are developed using the concept of malum in se

In England and Wales, the Law Commission's programme of codification of the criminal law had the eventual aim to abolish all the remaining common law offences and replace them, where appropriate, with offences precisely defined by statute. The common law offences were seen as unacceptably vague and open to development by the courts in silly ways which might offend the principle of certainty. However, they still exist under English law. In England and Wales, common law offences are punishable by unlimited fines and unlimited imprisonment.

Extant common law offences are listed at English criminal law#Common law offences and abolished etc offences are listed at History of English criminal law#Common law offences.



Malum in se (plural mala in se) is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil in itself. The phrase is used to refer to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct. It is distinguished from malum prohibitum, which is wrong only because it is prohibited.

For example, most human beings feel that murder, rape, and theft is wrong, regardless of whether a law governs such conduct or where the conduct occurs, and is thus recognizably malum in se. In contrast, consider driving laws. In the U.S., people drive on the right-hand side of the road. In the UK and other states of the Commonwealth, people drive on the left-hand side. Violation of these rules is an example of a malum prohibitum law because the act is not inherently bad, but is forbidden by law, as set forth by the lawmakers of the jurisdiction. Malum prohibitum crimes are criminal not because they are inherently bad, but because the act is prohibited by the law of the state.

This concept was used to develop the various common law offences.[1]

Another way to describe the underlying conceptual difference between "malum in se" and "malum prohibitum" is "iussum quia iustum" and "iustum quia iussum," namely something that is commanded (iussum) because it is just (iustum) and something that is just (iustum) because it is commanded (iussum).



List of offences under the common law of EnglandThis list includes offences that have been abolished or codified in one or more or all jurisdictions:

Murder
Manslaughter
Mayhem
Common assault aka assault
Battery
Assault with intent to rob
Assault with intent to rape
Kidnapping
False imprisonment
Rape
Arson
Larceny
Robbery
Burglary
Concealment of treasure trove
Cheating
Forgery
High treason
Petty treason
Misprision of treason (disputed - alleged to be statutory)
Compounding treason
Sedition
Seditious libel
Contempt of the sovereign
Misconduct in public office
Refusal to execute public office
Doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice - a.k.a. perverting the course of justice, defeating the ends of justice, obstructing the administration of justice
Contempt of court a.k.a criminal contempt
Misprision of felony (disputed - alleged not to exist)
Compounding a felony
Fabrication of false evidence
Escape
Permitting an escape
Breach of prison/breaking prison
Rescue/rescuing a prisoner in custody
Effecting a public mischief (disputed - held to no longer exist)
Riot
Rout
Affray
Unlawful assembly
Breach of the peace
Defamatory libel
Public nuisance
Obscene libel
Blasphemy
Blasphemous libel
Incitement
Maintenance
Champerty
Embracery
Challenging to fight
Eavesdropping
Being a common barrator - see Barratry
Being a common scold
Being a common nightwalker
Outraging public decency
Forcible entry
Forcible detainer
Attempt
Conspiracy
Bribery


Statutory offences and common law offencesCrimes are either common law offences or they are statutory. Most crimes are now statutory.

[edit] Common law offencesMurder
Manslaughter
Mayhem
Kidnapping
False imprisonment
Cheating the public revenue
High treason
Misprision of treason (disputed - alleged to be statutory)
Compounding treason
Contempt of the sovereign
Misconduct in public office
Refusal to execute public office
Doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice - a.k.a. perverting the course of justice, defeating the ends of justice, obstructing the administration of justice
Contempt of court a.k.a criminal contempt
Fabrication of false evidence
Escape
Permitting an escape
Breach of prison/breaking prison
Rescue/rescuing a prisoner in custody
Public nuisance
Outraging public decency
Conspiracy to defraud
Conspiracy to corrupt public morals
Conspiracy to outrage public decency
[edit] Prospectively abolished offencesBribery will be abolished when section 17(1)(a) of the Bribery Act 2010 comes into force
Embracery will be abolished when section 17(1)(a) of the Bribery Act 2010 comes into force

Status not clear to the editorCommon assault aka assault (disputed - held to now be statutory, said obiter not to be)
battery (disputed - held to now be statutory, said obiter not to be)
Assault with intent to rob (may now be statutory)
Rape
Assault with intent to rape (continued existence disputed)

"A ruler who violates the law is illegitimate. He has no right to be obeyed. His commands are mere force and coercion. Rulers who act lawlessly, whose laws are unlawful, are mere criminals".
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Re: Common law offences

Postby holy vehm » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:53 am

Bump

:peace:
"A ruler who violates the law is illegitimate. He has no right to be obeyed. His commands are mere force and coercion. Rulers who act lawlessly, whose laws are unlawful, are mere criminals".
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