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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Criminal Joint Enterprise Law

Q: What would happen if I went to attack someone with my friends, and one of them killed the person?

Here is the full Panorama programme about Joint Enterprise, first aired on 23 Nov 2009.

A: Joint Enterprise occurs when several people participate in a common criminal venture, either by agreement to commit an offence or a sudden spontaneous common intention.

You can find a list of Joint Enteprise cases in Trinidad and Tobago by typing it in the "subject" line and searching.

For example, if 5 people agree to attack someone and one person (A) carried a weapon and used it to kill that person during the fight, the possibilities for the other 4 (B) based on individual facts are:

1. Murder - If B foresaw that A might intentionally kill or cause really serious harm, B will be liable for murder on the basis of their continued participation. Foresight makes B as guilty as A and both will be found guilty of murder.

2. Manslaughter - If B did not foresee the risk of really serious harm or death, but did intend to assault, the dangerous act of assault renders B liable for manslaughter. There was no intention of serious harm or killing, but any assault can bring about any of those results.

3. Assault/Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) - B's only intention was to inflict non-life threatening harm.

4. Nothing - Murder REQUIRES an intention to kill or cause Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH). If B did not have the direct intention or foresaw that A could have done what he did, B is not morally liable.

You now have to ask yourself which category you fall into.

This does not apply if someone joins an on-going attack because there was no common intention.

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