The Theft Act 1968  was legislated as a result of complicated, confusing and highly technical prior statutes and case law. Antiquated terminology like larceny, embezzlement and false pretences were to be replaced by a simple and short Act that was aiming towards codification of the criminal law. The Criminal Law Revision Committee advised on the recommendation, which as a result fully transpired. The report affirmed “larceny, embezzlement and fraudulent conversion should be replaced by a single new offence of theft. The important element of them all is undoubtedly the dishonest appropriation of anotherer’s property”.  Unfortunately the courts interpretation of the Theft Act has not went as smooth as anticipated; it became highly disputed as the House of Lords reached contrasting outcomes on several cases. Parliament was possibly at fault to some extent due to the Act being formulated very simplistic, the consequence was that judges had to work out exactly what the law was. My purpose will be to chronologically evaluate the crucial case law, academic opinion, as well as objectively conclude from a theoretical and practical perspective. The definition of The Theft Act 1968 is ” A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.”  This section is pivotal and fundamental as the whole Act is structured around this definition. Dispute surrounds the element of appropriation. Academics and lawyers have and still are extensively contesting on whether consent should be relevant or irrelevant for an individual to appropriate property. The Criminal Law Revision Committee which prompted the Act stated “We hope and believe that the concept of dishonest appropriation will be easily understood even without the aid of further definition.”  This lack of further definition in hindsight, demonstrated poor judgment from the Committee as cases will illustrate that interpretation of appropriation has led to difficulties even in straightforward circumstances. In Lawrence  an Italian student who was unfamiliar with the currency opened his wallet to a taxi driver to allow him to acquire the fare. The driver took money which was well over the excess of the fare. The driver disputed that his conduct could be appropriation because the student consented. The House of Lords held that it was irrelevant the student consented and dismissed the defendant’s appeal; the driver’s conviction was upheld. This case concluded that appropriation can occur even when the victim has consented in handing over their property. Under the old Larceny Act 1916 a requirement for appropriation was ” without the consent of the owner”  . Viscount Dilhorne highlighted this contrast in his judgment as he quoted “Parliament by the omission of these words has relieved the prosecution of the burdon of establishing that the taking was without the owner’s consent  . Furthermore, Lawrenece means that certain crimes of deception may also be identical to crimes of theft, due to consent being irrelevant. Surely Parliaments intentions were not to have it amalgamated with s15 Obtaining Property by Deception.
We will send an essay sample to you in 24 Hours. If you need help faster you can always use our custom writing service.Get help with my paper