Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is intent determined in relation to arson?

Neasey J in Gardenal-Williams v The Queen looked to Kenny’s Outlines of Criminal Law in relation to intent, with his Honour citing the following passage:

“For if a man mischievously tries to burn some chattels inside a house, and sets fire to the house thereby, this is not an arson of the house if (as will, of course, rarely be the case) it appears from evidence that he neither intended nor foresaw the possibility of the house’s catching fire. For it is essential to arson that the incendiary either should have intended the building to take fire, or, at least, should have recognised the probability of its taking fire and have been reckless as to whether or not it did so. The cases emphasise that this test of liability is subjective.”[1]



[1] Kenny’s Outlines of Criminal Law (19th ed, 1966), JWC Turner (ed), p. 239.




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