Gammon v A-G for Hong Kong [1985, Privy Council]


  • The defendant substantially deviated from building plans in his Hong Kong development
  • The defendant believed that his deviation was minor, but the offence committed was one of strict liability


  • Could a mens rea requirement be read into the offence?


  • No


  • Gammon was sentenced to 3 years in prison
  • A mens rea will be presumed in all offences, unless the crime is regulatory, not a true crime, the penalty imposed is not serious and Parliament didn’t intend a mens rea requirement
  • ‘True crime’ is undefined
  • Opinion: 3 years is substantial
RELATED CASE  R v Thabo Meli [1954]

Posted in Criminal Law Revision Notes.

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