There are numerous approaches to evaluate Law and Sentenceson particular non-fatal offenses one way in doing so is assessing the criticismsof them.
The first criticism is the language of the laws being old (in the Actitself) as well as confusing. For example, in GBH section 20 and 18 it uses a wordsuch as “Malicious” nowadays nobody uses words like this, this thereforedoesn’t seem to be modernised, this was meant to define to be: “Recklessly” butgives the idea that it means committing something in a nasty/hateful manner, itwas meant to be for the Mens Rea, but Mens Res has been defined as “with intent”.In addition to this, the term “assault” nowadays implies physical injuries to avictim after hitting them. But, in terms of law it is just making somebody feelfear, this is misleading so when a person in court claims they have beenassaulted they really mean they have been a victim of either: GBH, ABH or aBattery depending on the seriousness of the injuries. Another criticism I amgoing to talk about is that Mens Rea in Section 47 doesn’t need any extra MensRea, it doesn’t have the requirement of the defendant to expect a risk/injury,like in the case R v Roberts wherethe defendant offered to give the victim a lift and then wanted to have sexwith her then she said no so he drove off with her at a high speed leading herto injure herself by doing what anybody else would do, jump out.
The defendantclaimed that he was unaware of risks and didn’t mean for the victim to sufferfrom ABH, even though he made her feel fear which was what lead her to jump outof the fast-moving car. The third criticism I’m going to talk about is the lackof the seriousness needed in the actual harm area in Section 20 GBH, the onlything the prosecution need to show is that the defendant had intention to causesome harm, which could be the smallest type of harm. Like in the case R v Mowatt where the defendant beat thevictim unconscious due to the victim confronting the defendant about the defendant’spartner who helped steal form the victim. It was decided that theIntention/recklessness to cause a wound and/or GBH doesn’t need proving.Another criticism I’m going to talk about is the actual offence known as a”Battery” being misleading, the word battery makes us think that it is wheresomebody gets beaten up badly, but really it is caused by touching someone purposely.Relating to Battery another criticism is there is no legal definition to defineboth “assault & battery” the only thing close to a definition is therequirements to cause them. Regarding ABH & GBH the separation doesn’t seemto be visible, it is actually the courts that make the decision of what causesserious harm, but everyone has different opinions, especially when both ABH andGBH include psychological pain because it’s hard to decide what amount of thepain of it comes under what offence, with no boundary as a guidance there willbe no proper way in deciding.
The final criticism I will be talking about is usinga “wound” to separate Section 18 from 20 being useless as there should only be oneSection for GBH because of the case Moriartyv Brookes where the defendant hit a customer and used force to remove himfrom a pub. He was guilty as he broke the layers of the skin, but compared to aneedle prick the seriousness is clearly different, so I believe if they had oneSection they can easily charge somebody with GBH and giving them a suitablesentence rather that deciding over a wound.