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R v Ghosh – 1982

Legal Case Summary

R v Ghosh (Deb Baran) [1982] EWCA Crim 2; [1982] QB 1053; [1982] 3 WLR 110

Meaning of dishonesty under the Theft Act 1968.
See also: Ivey v Genting Casinos


Ghosh, the person on trial, was a temporary consultant at a hospital. He falsely claimed to have performed a surgical procedure in order to receive payment through the National Health Service, when in fact someone else had carried out the operation. He was charged with trying to get money by deceitfully obtaining a check in violation of section 20(2) of the Theft Act 1968 and obtaining money through deception according to section 15(1). Ghosh’s defense was that he had not deceived anyone, and that he was entitled to the money. He appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeal.


The defendant in the case argued that the trial judge had made a mistake by telling the jury to use current standards of honesty when determining whether the defendant was dishonest. He stated that deception had to be done on purpose or with disregard for the outcome under section 15 of the 1968 Act. The defendant was arguing about the interpretation of the word ‘dishonesty’ as used in the 1968 Act.


The defendant argued that “dishonesty” under the 1968 Act is a state of mind rather than an action. The test for dishonesty under this act involves both a subjective and objective component. First, the jury must determine whether the defendant’s actions were considered dishonest by the standards of reasonable and honest people (the objective test). If they were not deemed dishonest, the matter ends there. However, if the actions were found to be dishonest by those standards, the jury must then decide whether the defendant himself understood that his actions were dishonest according to those same standards (the subjective test). If the defendant did know his actions were dishonest, then he would be considered “dishonest” under the 1968 Act.

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Answering problem questions in the University of London LLB programme requires a clear understanding of legal principles, good analytical skills and the ability to apply the law to a given set of facts. Here are some tips to help you answer problem questions effectively:

  1. Read the question carefully: Make sure you understand what the question is asking before you begin writing.
  2. Identify the legal issues: Identify the legal issues raised by the facts and the relevant laws that apply to those issues.
  3. Analyze the facts: Analyze the facts presented in the question, focusing on the details that are relevant to the legal issues.
  4. Apply the law: Apply the relevant laws to the facts, making sure to consider all relevant legal principles and cases.
  5. Structure your answer: Use a clear and well-structured approach, starting with an introduction that outlines the main legal issues, followed by a discussion of the relevant laws and a conclusion that summarizes your analysis and sets out your conclusion.
  6. Use relevant cases and statutes: Cite relevant cases and statutes to support your analysis and help illustrate the legal principles you are discussing.
  7. Be concise: Be concise and to the point, focusing on the key issues and avoiding unnecessary detail.
  8. Proofread: Proofread your answer carefully to make sure it is error-free and clear.
  9. Time management: Make sure you manage your time effectively, leaving enough time to review your answer and make any necessary corrections.

By following these tips, you should be able to answer problem questions in the University of London LLB programme effectively and with confidence. Good luck!

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