Why is it the bedrock of our criminal justice system? How does it level the playing field of one person versus all of society? And… is it really as venerable and ancient a principle as we think it is?
At the most fundamental level, criminal law is based around a single Latin phrase: “Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea”, which translates to “an act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty”.
Almost everyone in Canada has dealt with criminal law at some point – a criminal penalty can include a simple fine like a parking ticket on through more serious punishment for serious crimes.