The Final Twist in Common Intention?

Siyuan CHEN, Singapore Management University


It was only in 2008 that the Court of Appeal made a seminal restatement of the law on common intention, particularly with respect to liability in so-called ‘twin crime’ situations. The question posed then was posed again recently in Daniel Vijay: what exactly is the required mens rea for the secondary offender in such situations? In 2008, the Court of Appeal said that the secondary offender had to subjectively know that one in his party might likely commit the collateral offence in furtherance of the common intention of carrying out the primary offence. Now, in Daniel Vijay, the Court of Appeal has said that the secondary offender must have had the intention to commit the collateral offence. Has there been a change in the law, and if so, is this for the better?