Twelve years ago, in Brutus u Cozens, the House of Lords held that the meaning of an ordinary word of the English language was not a matter of law for the judge, but a question off act for the jury. The way was opened to the argument that in the definition of criminal offences, the metes and bounds of criminal liability were themselves no longer matters of law, but matters off act for the jury. This would allow a judge, when giving his direction, to read a short sentence or two, and leave the jurors to form a largely untutored view of whether an offence had been committed. No matter that different juries would reach different conclusions on the same facts. No matter that there would be little opportunity for an appellate court to correct what it perceived to be an incorrect verdict.