Richard Card

in Card, Cross, and Jones: Criminal Law

Edition 21

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print July 2014 | ISBN: 9780198702306
Published online September 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191784439 | DOI:

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The commission of an offence may involve not only the perpetrator of the offence but also other people in criminal liability in various ways. A person who directly brings about the actus reus of an offence with the relevant mens rea is known as the perpetrator (or principal). While an accomplice (also known as an accessory or secondary party) participates in the commission of an offence, he does not in law directly bring about its actus reus, even if his assistance or encouragement causes the perpetrator to act as he does. This chapter explains the liability of an accomplice before and after the commission of an offence. It considers joint perpetrators, innocent agency, principal offence, intentional perpetration of an offence which is not the common purpose of a joint enterprise, differential liability, victims as accomplices, entrapment and agents provocateurs, withdrawal from participation, and reform of the law of complicity.

Keywords: perpetrator; accomplice; criminal liability; offence; innocent agency; joint enterprise; differential liability; victims; entrapment

Chapter.  28422 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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