Mens rea

Classic Language

Definition of Mens rea
The English Definition of this Latin legal phrase is as follows:

 "Guilty mind"

The basic meaning and definition of the Latin legal term "Mens rea" is malice aforethought or criminal intent. In common law, the guilt of a person or innocence of a person relied upon whether he had committed the crime (referred to as actus reus), and whether he intended to commit the crime (referred to as mens rea). The Latin term 'mens rea' literally means “guilty mind”, the Latin phrase 'actus reus' meaning “guilty act” derives from from 'actus' meaning act and 'reus' meaning guilty.

Mens rea


Interesting Info about Mens rea
Lawyers or solicitors might use Latin legal terms such as "Mens rea" in their consultations. The common law test or criteria for criminal liability is usually expressed in the Latin phrase "actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea" which when translated means "the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty".

The legal principle of 'mens rea' is often at issue in murder trials. As the media covers such trials on TV we are all becoming more familiar with such legal terms. The different levels of mens rea are encompassed in the words Purposely, Knowingly, Recklessly and Negligently.

In Criminal law 'malice aforethought' is the predetermination to do an unlawful act, especially acts designed to to kill or seriously injure a person.

Classic Motto and Proverb


Sentences & Quotes about "Mens rea"
Legal terms like "Mens rea" are used in courts by lawyers, attorneys and  judges and also feature in famous quotes demonstrating how to use "Mens rea" in a sentence.

"A finding of lack of
mens rea (guilty mind)
is the obvious finding."

Quote by Kemp J. Kemp (Legal Advocate)


Mens rea

Famous Latin legal expression and phrase
Means "Guilty mind"
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Basic legal term used in court by lawyers & judges
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Definition and meaning of Mens rea

Classic Motto and Proverb


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