The Death of the Mens Rea Requirement Via “Public Welfare” Offenses

Case in Point: Florida v. Adkins. In 2012, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the state’s drug law, which does not require the prosecution to establish criminal intent, is constitutional. What other result could be expected when “possession” and drug offenses exist? Crimes not requiring an actual or intended harm to another person for their commission only require a certain criminal intent or mens rea as a fig leaf. The mens rea for those crimes is hollowed out completely by their very nature; there is no tangible harm required. It necessarily follows that states such as Florida will then attempt to eliminate a mens rea requirement altogether and make the crimes purely strict liability.

Halsbury’s Laws of Canada Encyclopedia Set Completed in 2013

We hear frequently that print publications are fading which makes what Simon Chester wrote about recently an even more astounding development. Considering that it is 2013 and digital content, mobile applications, cloud-based computing, and “solutions” are all the legal publishing rage, so to speak, Halsbury’s Laws of Canada has just recently completed the arduous and daring task of producing the final print volume in its “new” (Halsbury’s/Lexis began creating the set in 2006) 70+ volume encyclopedia set covering Canadian federal and provincial law.

Kudos. The traditional legal encyclopedia treatise (whether in print or digital format) lives on for another day.