Criminal liability for third person's act: case of release on bail
par Pascal KAVUTTSE
National university of Rwanda - Licence 2011
The author of an offense is anyone who shall directly execute the offense33(*). The author is one who performs the unlawful acts. Indeed, the doctrine distinguishes the perpetrator (material author) of the offense, that one who carries out the elements of the offense, and the instigator (moral or intellectual author) of that one who determines people to perform material act without executing him/herself34(*).
Material author is that one who personally performs material acts constituting the offense, for example that one who removes the property of another in theft. Contrarily to material author, intellectual author is that one who, by his willful or negligent conduct, let someone who is under his authority and supervision, commit a crime35(*).
Accomplices of a crime are those who knowingly have provided a useful support but not necessary, in commission of offence. Penal code defines an accomplice as any person knowingly, will by assistance, donation, promise, instructions, publicity, instigation,....... provoke the commission of a crime or will not report an offender36(*). The accomplice and author are submitted to the same penalties and the latter can be prosecuted even if the author of crime is not prosecuted37(*).
Complicity requires the existence of punishable principle, act there will never be the complicity without that act38(*). Indeed, the accomplice is considered as such and liable when and where the offence aided, abetted, or procured once is committed39(*).
Coauthors are those who are on the crime scene; accomplices are those behind the scenes. Those involved in the offense are co-authors; those who have given some means of offense are only accomplices40(*). There may be two or more principals, joint principals, in the same crime; therefore, there may be more than one cause of an actus reus and more than one causer, they are coauthors41(*).
* 33 Penal code Op.Cit., art .90
* 34 P. Canin, Op. Cit., p.96,
* 35R. BERNARDINI, Op. Cit., P.439
* 36 Penal code, Op. Cit., Art. 91
* 37 Id., art. 89
* 38 PATRICK Cannin
* 39 D. Ormerod, SMITH AND HOGAN. Criminal law, 11th ed., US Oxford university press, Inc., New York, 2005, p.169
* 40M.Georges Brière de l'Isle, Op. Cit., p.224
* 41 D. Ormerod, Op.Citp., 16