Conspiracy (crime)

Conspiracy (Crime)

Conspiracy (crime)

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In the criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future, and, in some cases, with at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement. There is no limit on the number participating in the conspiracy and, in most countries, no requirement that any steps have been taken to put the plan into effect (compare attempts which require proximity to the full offence). For the purposes of concurrence, the actus reus is a continuing one and parties may join the plot later and incur joint liability and conspiracy can be charged where the co-conspirators have been acquitted or cannot be traced. Finally, repentance by one or more parties does not affect liability but may reduce their sentence.

England and Wales

Common law offence

At common law, the crime of conspiracy was capable of infinite growth, able to accommodate any new situation and to criminalize it if the level of threat to society was sufficiently great. The courts were therefore acting in the role of the legislature to create new offences and, following the Law Commission Report No. 76 on "Reform of the Common Law", the Criminal Law Act 1977 produced a statutory offence and abolished all the common law varieties of conspiracy, except two:

Conspiracy to defraud

See conspiracy to defraud.

Conspiracy to corrupt public morals or to outrage public decency

Conspiracy to corrupt public morals is an offence under the common law of England and...
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