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Criminal Liability Each specific offence has its elements that the prosecution must prove before the defendant can be found guilty. All proved elements produce criminal liability of the defendant. The principal elements of an offence that must be proven are (1) physical element known as actus reus (2) mental element known as mens rea. The first element indicates that an offence actually occurred and the second that the accused intended the offence to happen. The actus reus and mens rea are the Latin terms for guilty act (actus reus) and guilty mind (men rea), and the basic principle in proving criminal liability is Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means that "the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty". Thus, in jurisdictions with due process, there must be an actus reus accompanied by some level of mens rea to constitute the offence with which the defendant is charged. The exception is strict liability offences for which liability may be imposed without proving mens rea (e.g. offences relating to the production and marketing of food, offences relating to road traffic). The prosecution must prove the guilt of the defendant beyond reasonable doubt, that is the standard of proof required in criminal cases. This means that if the judge or jury judging the offence doubt the guilt of the defendant and have a reason for this doubt, the guilt of the defendant cannot be proven.

5. Criminal Penalties There are several kinds of penalties available to the courts in England and Wales. The most important of them are absolute and conditional discharge, fine, community sentence, custodial sentence (imprisonment) and compensation order (see the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000; the Criminal Justice Act 2003). The sentence depends on the type, the seriousness and the circumstances of the offence and the maximum penalty available by law. The most lenient punishment is discharge of the offender. This order is imposed when the court deems that punishment would not be appropriate and the experience has been enough of a deterrent. The court may discharge the offender absolutely or conditionally. In the latter case, the offender is released on the condition that he/she does not commit any offence within a period specified by court. The next level of punishment is a fine a money penalty payable to the state. It is the most common criminal penalty widely used for summary offences and some indictable offences. The leading principle deciding the amount of the fine is that it should reflect the seriousness of the offence and the offenders ability to pay. A community sentence combines punishment with changing offenders behaviour and making amends sometimes directly to the victim of the crime. It is a generic sentence introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 in place of different sentences available previously (such as community service order, probation order, curfew order etc.). When imposing a community sentence, the court is able to choose different requirements to make up a community order which

is relevant to the particular offender and the offence he/she committed. The range of the requirements available include: (a) an unpaid work requirement order to do up to 300 hours of unpaid work on local community projects under close supervision; (b) a programme requirement order to attend a group or individual programme designed to address the activities and patterns of behaviour that contribute to committing crime; (c) a curfew requirement order to stay indoors, usually at home, for a certain period; electronic monitoring (tagging) may be used to control the offender; etc. The highest level of punishment is custodial sentence (imprisonment). Before imposing a custodial sentence the court must be satisfied that the offence was so serious that neither a fine nor a community sentence can be justified. In determining the length of a custodial sentence, courts are bound to take account of aggravating and mitigating factors and of previous convictions. Custodial sentences of less than one year may be imposed, but suspended for a period of up to two years, during which time the court may order the offender to comply with one or more requirements available for community sentences. Breach of the conditions may result in activation of the whole or part of the custodial sentence. The actual length of imposed custodial sentences depends on release arrangements. Offenders serving standard determinate custodial sentences of 12 months or more are released after serving half of their sentence, but are then on licence (parole), i.e. may be recalled at any time until the expiry of the full sentence if they break the imposed conditions or commit a further offence. For offenders assessed as dangerous release arrangements are different. These offenders are subject to assessment by the Parole Board and are not released from prison until and unless their level of risk to the public is assessed by the Parole Board as manageable in the community.