The Intent in Criminal Law

By: Anavitarte, E. J.*

The Intent is the conscious will to cause harm. Based on this definition, the concept of intent has been modulated in the theory of criminal law.

In civil law countries it is part of the legal definition of the criminal offence, since there is not a subjective interpretation of the mind of the offender; but in common law countries, this dimension of crime is part of the culpability examination, not established by statutory laws but by mens rea.

Intent is essential to analyze criminal misconduct in existing criminal systems, thus, given the great configuration of human behaviors, it is necessary to modulate the scope of the offence also on a subjective level.

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