Intention and the search for definition: A marriage of doctrinal inconsistency and incoherent desires.

The paradigmatic status of intention as the locus classicus interpretation of mens rea, has been subjected to continued criticism, primarily because of the insistence of orthodox roughshod lawyers seek to explain what is seemingly inexplicable. Throughout this paper, I shall explore the reasons why intention has come to occupy such a commutation put forwardion in shepherds crook law ism. This will be achieved by analysing the search for the illusive definition pursued by the courts in a number of leading judgments. The cases which will be discussed shall be separated into two distinct categories. First, at that place exists the chronological development of those cases which debate the term intention and seek to condone and interpret it for the purpose of establishing certainty within the criminal law. Second, there are those cases which highlight the courts departure from the need to ensure authoritative consistency and certainty in application, by employing interpretive techniques which mask value-judgments that are smuggled into the decision making process. In particular, the definitional phylogeny will be evaluated to identify both inconsistencies with the formal doctrine itself, and also the pursuit of the understanding of intention via a conceptual explanation. At this point I will endeavour to showing that the pursuit of the precise definition has entailed the diminishment of its role within criminal law doctrine.

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Only at this juncture can we posit the normative question, should intention be at the heart of criminal law?

Alan Norrie argued that human agency is essentially composed of motives and intentions , we opine our intentions as a precursor to an action, with the aim that our intentions will finally acquire a specific end. Through cognitive and willing states, we are able to accord intention an integral aim in the making of a choice. An individual, who chooses to pursue an action which will...

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