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Conspiracy in United Kingdom

Definition of Conspiracy

In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Conspiracy :

1. An agreement between two or more people to behave in a manner that will automatically constitute an offence by at least one of them (e.g. two people agree that one of them shall steal while the other waits in a getaway car). The agreement is itself a statutory crime, usually punishable in the same way as the offence agreed on, even if it is not carried out. Mens rea (See mens rea), in the sense of knowledge of the facts that make the action criminal, is required by at least two of the conspirators, even if the crime agreed upon is one of *strict liability. One may be guilty of conspiracy even if it is impossible to commit the offence agreed on (for example, when two or more people conspire to take money from a safe but, unknown to them, there is no money in it). A person is, however, not guilty of conspiracy if the only other party to the agreement is his (or her) spouse. Nor is there liability when the acts are to be carried out in furtherance of a trade dispute and involve only a summary and nonimprisonable offence. Incitement to conspire and attempt to conspire are no longer crimes.

Some forms of criminal conspiracy still exist at common law. These are now limited to: (1) conspiracy to *defraud (e.g. to commit fraud, theft, obtain property by deception, or infringe a copyright) or to cause an official to act contrary to his public duty; (2) conspiracy to corrupt public morals (See corruption of public morals); and (3) conspiracy to outrage public decency (this might include an agreement to mount an indecent exhibition).

2. A conspiracy to injure a third party is a tort if it causes damage to the person against whom the conspiracy is aimed. It is not necessary to prove that the conspirators used unlawful means. If unlawful means have not been used, conspiracy is not actionable if the predominant purpose of the conspirators was legitimate. Protection of one’s own financial or trade interests is thus a legitimate purpose provided no unlawful means are used; but retaliation for an insult to one’s dignity is not. The operation of the tort in *trade disputes is limited by statute.

Incitement, conspiracy and attempt

This section offers a description about Incitement, conspiracy and attempt in the study of the general principles of Criminal Law.

Definition of Conspiracy

A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit an offence.



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(2015, 02). Conspiracy lawi.org.uk Retrieved 06, 2021, from https://lawi.org.uk/conspiracy/

02 2015. 06 2021 <https://lawi.org.uk/conspiracy/>

"Conspiracy" lawi.org.uk. lawi.org.uk, 02 2015. Web. 06 2021. <https://lawi.org.uk/conspiracy/>

"Conspiracy" lawi.org.uk. 02, 2015. Accesed 06 2021. https://lawi.org.uk/conspiracy/

Agostino Von Hassell, 'Conspiracy' (lawi.org.uk 2015) <https://lawi.org.uk/conspiracy/> accesed 2021 June 13

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Conspiracy
  • Author: Agostino Von Hassell
  • Description: Definition of Conspiracy In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Conspiracy : 1. An [...]

This entry was last updated: February 23, 2015

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