Mens Rea

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One of the major elements in culpability (see: Criminal culpability) is that the accused should have a mental state commensurate with committing the offence. This state is known as Mens Rea, which can be translated as 'guilty mind' or 'blameworthy mind'. Nearly all criminal offences require a demonstration of Mens Rea. However, it is unusual to see the term Mens Rea used in statute; instead statutes use terms like 'intend' (see: Intention) or 'reckless' (see: Recklessness) to express the mental state of the perpetrator. Some offences do not use any such words, and may therefore be interpreted as Strict liability offences.