Preparation as an Inchoate Offence

Note on Preparation as an Inchoate Offence by Legum

Preparation as an Inchoate Offence:


In criminal law, an inchoate offence refers to conduct that is criminal in nature but falls short of a completed crime. One such inchoate offence is preparation. This note discusses preparation as an inchoate offence in the Ghanaian context.

Meaning of Preparation:

Per section 19 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) ,

A person who prepares or supplies, or has in possession, custody, or control, or in the possession, custody or control of any other person on behalf of that person, any instrument, materials, or means, with the intent that the instruments, materials, or means, may be used by that person, or by any other person, in committing a criminal offence by which life is likely to be endangered, or a forgery, or a felony, commits a criminal offence and is liable to punishment in like manner as if that person had attempted to commit that criminal offence.

Essentially, note that it is not every crime a person can prepare to commit. In section 19 above, a person can only prepare to commit the following:

1. A criminal offence by which life is likely to be endangered.

2. A forgery

3. A felony.

When the prosecution proves that the acts of the accused amount to preparing or supplying etc materials intended to be used by himself or another in committing a crime that is likely to endanger life or amount to forgery or a felony, the prosecution is likely to secure a conviction.