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Gammon (Hong Kong) Ltd v Attorney-General of Hong Kong [1985] AC 1

The appellant was a builder who had deviated from plans in the construction of a building. It was an offence to deviate from the plans in a substantial way. The appellant accepted he had deviated from the plans but he believed that the deviation was only minor rather than substantial.


The offence was one of strict liability and therefore his belief was irrelevant and his conviction upheld.

In determining whether an offence is one of strict liability there is a presumption that mens rea is required. This presumption may be rebutted where:

1. The crime is regulatory as oppose to a true crime; or
2. The crime is one of social concern; or
3. The wording of the Act indicates strict liability; or
4. The offence carries a heavy penalty.
Back to lecture outline on strict liability in Criminal Law