Mens rea

Filed Under: Criminal Law

2 definitions found for this term.
Definitions are presented in the order source books were published (most recent first).


The Latin expression for the mental element in criminal law. This usually takes the form of intention, knowledge, or wilfulness. For example, for someone to be guilty of murder, in addition to performing the requisite act requirements, they must be accompanied by the intent to kill or the intention to cause grievous bodily harm knowing that death is likely.

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