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Define Actus Reus.
A voluntary and deliberate act - cannot be an omission unless there was a duty to act.
State the six situations in which there is a duty to act with the relevant cases.
- 1. Contractual Pittwood2. Public position Dytham3. Act of Parliament Children and Young Persons Act 19334. Duty of Relationship Gibbons and Procter5. Failure to minimise harmful consequences Miller6. Voluntarily takes on a duty Stone and Dobinson
What is causation in criminal law?
Causation is the link between the defendant's act and the criminal consequence.
Name the cases for factual causation in criminal law.
- "But for" test
Explain legal causation in criminal law with the cases.
- Where the act is the "operating" and "substantial" cause of the consequence.
Which three things can break the chain of causation?
- 1. Novus Actus Interveniens
- 2. Egg Shell Skull Rule
- 3. Victim's Own Act
Explain Novus Actus Interveniens with cases.
- Where an intervening act breaks the chain of causation.
Explain Egg Shell Skull rule with cases.
- "Take your victim as you find him"
Explain Victim's Own Act with cases.
- The victim's reaction does not break the chain of causation if it was reasonably forseeable.
Define Mens Rea.
"Guilty mind" - Most crimes require the mens rea as well as the actus reus. It can be intention as defined in Mowatt or recklessness as defined in Cunningham.
What are the two types of intention?
- 1. Direct Intention
- 2. Indirect Intention (Oblique Intention)
What is Direct Intention?
Where the consequences are the defendant's aim or purpose.
What is Indirect Intention?
- Where the defendant intended the act but not the consequence.
Which test was established in Woollin to prove indirect intention?
- The Virtual Certainty Test.
- 1. The consequence is a virtually certain result of the defendant's act.
- 2. The defendant knows it is a virtually certain result.
- - this test allows intention to be inferred
What is Recklessness?
- Recklessness requires a lower level of mens rea. Where the defendant knows there is a risk of criminal consequences and:
- a) is willing to take it and
- b) takes it deliberately.
- This requires no ill will
What is the Contemporaneity Rule?
- This refers to the coincidence of Actus Reus and Mens Rea.
- The AR and MR must occur at the same time.
- However, a series of linked acts/omissions can be treated as a single continuing act.
What is Transferred Malice?
- Where the defendant's Mens Rea is transferred from the intended victim to the actual victim.
What is Strict Liability?
- Where a crime includes AR but no MR - therefore, performing the act is what makes the defendant guilty.
- Alphacell v Woodward
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