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Word Count: 328
Non-fatal offences against the person include assault battery actual bodily harm ABH and grievous bodily harm GBH in its two forms However there is no clear statutory definition for either assault or for battery while definitions of the more serious offences are contained in an Act passed back in 1861 with much of the vocabulary old-fashioned and even misleading This shows that there is a gap in the law Law Commission has also seen this as a problem within the law and has produced a draft of a Criminal Law Bill to reform this area and create an offence that would cover this area Apart from there not being a clear definition the hierarchy of the offences can also be criticised The maximum sentence for assault and battery is 6 months imprisonment and s47 can be 5 years imprisonment The only real difference between them is that actual bodily harm is caused- yet ABH can mean as little as causing discomfort to the person Also the s20 offence is defined as a much more serious offence than s47 however they share the maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment Another problem with the sentencing on non-fatal offences against the person is that the only difference between s20 and s18 is arguably a slightly more serious mens rea and yet the maximum sentence leaps from five years to life imprisonment However s18 has the mens rea of murder and only chance decides if the person survives and stopping the defendant being charged with murder There are also problems with the law of non-fatal offences against the person within domestic violence This can be a problem because police approach to domestic violence is to avoid involvement It may also be a problem getting wives or girlfriends to give evidence against their partners so justice may not be brought to the violent men However s80 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 can now compel a
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