Preparation for crime: a just and effective scheme of liability

Speaking at a public lecture hosted by the University of London International Programmes in Accra this month, William Wilson, Professor of Criminal Law at Queen Mary, University of London, challenged legal professionals in Ghana to reflect carefully on the concept of ‘attempt’ and the law’s approach to preparatory crime.

The lecture, entitled “Preparation for crime: some thoughts on a just and effective scheme of liability,” was attended by 180 guests including members of the legal community, students and alumni of the University of London International Programmes.

Professor Jenny Hamilton, Director of the Undergraduate Laws Programme, welcomed the guest speaker to the stage. Professor Wilson addressed the audience saying that it was unfair for someone to be punished as though he has committed a crime when in fact the person merely attempted that crime. He said recent developments in criminal justice in many jurisdictions indicate that control and prevention of crime is replacing retribution as a preferred option for state intervention.

The lecture was closed with remarks from a Supreme Court judge, Justice Joseph B. Akamba, who commented on the Ghanaian Criminal Code having been in existence since 1960 and its further need to be updated to include areas which Professor Wilson had raised in his lecture.

Dignitaries who attended the event included Justice S A Brobbey, retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice S K Date Bah, Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, Mr Kwasi Prempeh-Eck, Director of the Ghana School of Law, and Moses Anibaba, Country Director, British Council Ghana.

For students, the lecture provided an opportunity to hear directly from a University of London academic, something which for many on a distance learning degree is a rare occasion.

Professor Wilson is seen here (below) meeting with University of London International Programmes students and alumni at the reception held after the lecture.


  1. Creating the awareness in people about the law and legal issues are the good idea, with this type of speeches and seminars, there is a chance for knowing the rules and regulation. So we can reduce the crime rate.

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