When I first heard this term my mind went straight to thinking in terms of a business or a construction project and if your mind goes to the same place then you’re not wrong.
But there is another use for the term (Joint enterprise) which many people would not have even contemplated. The term is used in criminal law as grounds to convict someone.
Ok we all know about being an accomplice at the time or after the fact, we also know about assisting an offender or aiding and abetting.
Most people would recognise that when being asked to be an accomplice or when assisting an offender that they put themselves at risk, but how would you handle this following hypothetical scenario?
You and four friends have decided to meet up and go to the park. Your group is made up of males and females, as you and your friends walk to the park, a Stranger bumps into you, he is rude and acts like he wants trouble. One of your friends intervenes and aggressively pushes the stranger away from you, there is a short scuffle, the stranger falls and bangs his head and dies.
The police arrive within minutes; all of you are arrested under suspicion of murder and Joint enterprise.
You’re probably thinking I shouldn’t be in trouble as I never touched the stranger.
So you would defend yourself against murder. You are then told that you are not being charged for murder but instead you are being charged for Joint enterprise.
Joint enterprise means that although you did not take part in the scuffle you should have known that there is a possibility that the scuffle would have ended in the death of the stranger.
This law, although it sound unbelievable is being used quite regularly to convict groups of people for murder. When one member of a group of people has committed the crime but it can’t be proved, they will just sweep everyone under the Joint enterprise carpet.
Being convicted of joint enterprise murder means life in prison.
At the moment there is an appeal going on where people have been given life sentences under this law, I wish them luck.
As always there will be more articles in relation to this post.