ⓘ Culpable and reckless conduct


ⓘ Culpable and reckless conduct

While there is no statutory definition, a summary of what constitutes the offence can be inferred from a draft Scottish Legal Code which drew upon current law and proposed the following for a statutory offence of Recklessness:-

Recklessness For the purposes of criminal liability ⎯ a something is caused recklessly if the person causing the result is, or ought to be, aware of an obvious and serious risk that acting will bring about the result but nonetheless acts where no reasonable person would do so; b a person is reckless as to a circumstance, or as to a possible result of an act, if the person is, or ought to be, aware of an obvious and serious risk that the circumstance exists, or that the result will follow, but nonetheless acts where no reasonable person would do so; c a person acts recklessly if the person is, or ought to be, aware of an obvious and serious risk of dangers or of possible harmful results in so acting but nonetheless acts where no reasonable person would do so.

1. Offences

The case Her Majestys Advocate v. Harris states how the offence of Culpable and Reckless Conduct will occur;

"There are two ways in which reckless conduct may become criminal. Reckless conduct to the danger of the lieges will constitute a crime in Scotland and so too will reckless conduct which has caused actual injury"


1.1. Offences Reckless injury

Judicial precedence has developed an offence of unintentionally but recklessly causing injury to another. This has been proposed in case law as an alternative to assault as there no need to prove "evil intent" as would be the case for assault. There is no requirement for the accused to actively or deliberately make efforts to cause injury, provided that it is foreseeable injury could be caused by non-action or an omission and that a causal link exists with the injury. The case of Kimmins v. Nomand, displays this point, the accused was detained for a legitimately search by police and denied having needles on their person. A police officer subsequently suffered a needle stick injury when searching the accused, who was laterally charged with "recklessly causing injury".


1.2. Offences Reckless endangerment of the lieges

In the case of Robson v Spiers, establishes the forseeablity of potential danger or injury to the public by the accuseds course of action. Again there need not be any physical injury to a person, only the need to demonstrate possible endangerment to the public.

A high degree of recklessness is required, more than what could be construed as carelessness or negligence. The accused must have acted in a manner that demonstrated an utter disregard for the consequences of his conduct on the general public and a total indifference to their safety.

  • denied 2017 that Negligence Recklessness is not sufficient for a conviction of speech. There must be a culpable mental state and being accepting of the mens
  • if, acting with the kind of culpability otherwise required for commission of the crime he: purposely engages in conduct which would constitute the crime
  • circumstances which reduce the defendant s culpability The original mitigating factors were provocation and chance medley which existed at common law
  • appeared in court again, and was denied bail. At his trial on 12 November 2013, he pleaded guilty on 24 counts of culpable homicide and one count of negligent
  • prior voluntary conduct The driver in R v Schoonwinkel, also an epileptic, was charged with culpable homicide, having collided with and killed the driver
  • knowingly, recklessly negligently and strict liability Each material element of every crime has an associated culpability state that the prosecution
  • Pistorius was not guilty of murder, but guilty of the culpable homicide of Steenkamp and reckless endangerment with a firearm at a restaurant. On 21 October
  • circumstances a duty arose at all and to the conduct of the defendant if it did arise and that the subjective test applied both to reckless indifference to the legality
  • person uses force that involves the intentional or reckless infliction of death, and b the conduct is not a reasonable response in the circumstances

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