It has frequently been affirmed and should unhesitatingly be recognized that it is a cardinal principle of our law that mens rea, an evil intention or a knowledge of the wrongfulness of the act, is in all ordinary cases an essential ingredient of guilt of a criminal offence. It follows from this that there will not be guilt of an offence created by statute unless there is mens rea or unless Parliament has by the statute enacted that guilt may be established in cases where there is no mens rea.
Sweet v Parsley  UKHL 1 (23 January 1969)
Cite as:  UKHL 1,  AC 132,United Kingdom House of Lords Decisions
Go Next Page..Contd..