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R v Ghosh 1982 | Criminal Law

R v Ghosh 1982 | Criminal Law

R v Ghosh [1982] EWCA Crim 2 is a landmark case in English criminal law that established a two-limb test for assessing dishonesty in cases of theft and other dishonest offences.

The case involved an NHS surgeon, Dr Ghosh, who had fraudulently claimed extra wages for work that others had carried out.

The court in this case held that when considering the question of dishonesty, the jury must first determine whether the defendant's conduct was dishonest according to the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people. If the answer is yes, then the jury must go on to consider whether the defendant himself realised that what he was doing was dishonest by those standards.

The court emphasised that the second limb of the test requires subjective evidence, and that the defendant must have known that their conduct was dishonest according to the standards of ordinary and reasonable people.

The Ghosh test has been widely applied in subsequent cases involving allegations of dishonesty. However, the test has also been subject to criticism, particularly in cases where the defendant's cultural background or personal circumstances may affect their understanding of what is considered dishonest.

In 2017, the second limb of the test was removed by the Supreme Court in Ivey v Genting Casinos, so it is now only an objective test, except in rare circumstances where the subjective elements must be considered.

You can learn more about this topic and other case law with our Criminal Law notes.

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