Oblique Intent, Foresight and Authorisation

Beatrice Krebs

Abstract


In R v Jogee, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC) abolished a contentious doctrine of criminal law which allowed accomplices to a crime A to be convicted of another’s crime B on the basis that they foresaw commission of the latter in the course of the former. The Court held that nothing short of an intention to assist or encourage crime B would suffice to fix the accomplice with criminal liability. At common law intention has traditionally been understood to entail acts and consequences that were either achieved with purpose (direct intent) or foreseen as virtually certain to follow one’s chosen course of conduct (oblique intent). This paper argues that Jogee constitutes a first step away from a conception that measures ‘guilty minds’ in degrees of foresight: by associating the accessory’s intent to assist or encourage the perpetrator’s crime with ‘authorisation’, Jogee seems to support the view that intention in the legal sense depends ultimately on whether the accused had endorsed the consequences of his and the perpetrator’s actions.

 

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