LATEST NEWS HEADLINES

Glossary

This list isn’t intended to be a complete list of legal terms and important cases; rather, it’s just to help get through some of the articles that we link to on the website or post on Pocket. If there are any terms you’d like to see added, drop us a line at innocentorguk@gmail.com.

Term

Description

Link

Actus Reus In law, there are generally two criteria required to find someone guilty of a crime, known as actus reus and mens rea. Actus reus means ‘guilty act’ in Latin. Simply put, it means that there must have been an action that contributed to the crime. For example, in a murder case the actus reus could be the act of shooting or stabbing someone, but the definition of what a guilty act is can be very wide. In theory if there is no guilty act there can be no guilty verdict, although the principle of Joint Enterprise somewhat puts paid to that principle.

See also: mens rea, joint enterprise.

Wikipedia
Mens rea In law, there are generally two criteria required to find someone guilty of a crime, known as actus reus and mens rea. Mens rea means ‘guilty mind’ in Latin. Simply put, it means that there must have been either a deliberate intention (or a negligent wrecklessness) that contributed to the crime. For example, in a murder case the mens rea could be the act of buying a gun or hiring a hitman, but the definition what constitutes a guilty mind is can be very wide. In theory if there is no guilty mind there can be no guilty verdict, although the principle of Joint Enterprise somewhat puts paid that principle.

See also: actus reus, joint enterprise.

Wikipedia
Public Interest Immunity “Public-interest immunity (PII) is a principle of English common law under which the English courts can grant a court order allowing one litigant to refrain from disclosing evidence to the other litigants where disclosure would be damaging to the public interest” (Wikipedia). Under normal circumstances, all evidence gathered “which might reasonably be considered capable of undermining the case for the prosecution against the accused, or of assisting the case for the accused” (CPS) should be shared from the Defence to the Prosecution and vice versa. PII reverses that; it states that under certain circumstances one side can withhold disclosure evidence from the other side because it is not in the public interest to reveal the evidence.

For example: let’s say that a terrorist suspect has been arrested and brought to trial. Evidence against the suspect has come from a secret agent working under deep cover within the terrorist cell. Obviously, if the name of the agent were to be revealed at trial it would both threaten his safety and limit the chances of further intelligence of terrorist activities. Therefore, any evidence that could possibly identify him can be withheld by the Prosecution, assuming that they successfully apply of a PII certificate.

The problems occur when these exemptions are granted seemingly without being in the public interest. In the case of Ishtiaq Ahmed, for example, Ahmed made a formal complaint about the behaviour of Thames Valley Police. The Police Complaints Authority supervised an investigation into them by Bedfordshire Police. When the investigation was done, the Crown Prosecution Service successfully applied to the High Court to suppress the results on the grounds of Public Interest Immunity. However, a number of officers attached to the case later found themselves in trouble and Ahmed and his team have not been allowed access to the results of the investigation.

Wikipedia
Term Description Click here
Term Description Click here
%d bloggers like this: