Definition of mens rea in English:

Share this entry

mens rea

Pronunciation: /menz ˈrēə/

noun

Law
The intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused. Compare with actus reus.
Example sentences
  • An injury caused without mens rea might be grounds for civil liability but typically not for criminal.
  • There was no requirement in the relevant act that his mens rea should relate to a named victim.
  • The mens rea or mental element of a crime is usually based on the intention of the accused at the time.

Origin

Mid 19th century: Latin, literally 'guilty mind'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mens re·a

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.