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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71254
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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The law on theft is unclear and is need of reform

Customer Question

The law on theft is unclear and is need of reform
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
In what way?
It has always seemed clear enough to me and does what one would expect.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It's a exam essay question discuss how the law on theft is unclear and in need to reform I need to include the 5,elements of theft and how dishonesty is defined in the act and the ghosh test and how it's unfair
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
So what would you like to know about this?
I obviously can't write it for you but if you have any specific questions I can help.
It is an odd question. The law on theft has never really seemed unfair at all. Sexual offences, harassment and the dangerous dogs legislation would be much better questions but there you have it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Can you tell me about the ghosh test and how fair is it
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
This is quote from Lord Lane in the case which sums up the subsequent law.
In determining whether the prosecution has proved that the defendant was acting dishonestly, a jury must first of all decide whether according to the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people what was done was dishonest. If it was not dishonest by those standards, that is the end of the matter and the prosecution fails.
If it was dishonest by those standards, then the jury must consider whether the defendant himself must have realised that what he was doing was by those standards dishonest.
So, two limbs.
1 Is what the defendant did dishonest according to the standards of reasonable and honest people?
2 If so, did he himself realise that what he was doing was dishonest by those standards.
Always seems perfectly reasonable to me.
I suppose that there may be complaint that it allows for a large variation amongst jurors. Some jurors in certain areas do have different standards of dishonesty to others. The risk there may be that some jurors will have low standards and others excessively high. You always do take the roll of the dice with a jury.
I suppose you could argue that the subjective limb of the test allows for dishonest or ridiculous defences like the Robin Hood defence although in my experience objective tests don't stop defendant's from raising ridiculous defences either.
Can I clarify anything for you?