Criminal liability revision
Actus reus and mens rea
• Actus reus means:
– The physical element of a crime.
• Mens rea means:
– The mental element of a...
Identify the mens rea and actus reus elements from the
following statutory crime.
• The Mrs Dickinson (annoyance of) Act 2...
Actus reus can be one of three things
• Act
• Omission
• State of affairs.
• Which is outlined in the following offence?
T...
What is the general rule about
omissions as Actus Reus?
• There is no liability for an omission - "A sees B
drowning and i...
What are the exceptions to the
omissions rule?
• Statutory duty to act
• Duty arising from a relationship
• Where a duty h...
Mens rea
• 3 types of mens rea for criminal liability.
– Intention
– Recklessness
– Gross negligence
• 2 types of intentio...
Intention
• Direct intention:
– Definition?
• Where D desires the outcome.
• Mohan
• Oblique intention
– Definition?
• Whe...
Oblique intention – development
• Moloney (1985)
– Foresight of consequences
• Hancock and Shankland (1986)
– “foresight o...
Recklessness
• Original test was _________jective.
• This is from the case C________
• This was been replaced in criminal ...
Gross Negligence
• Adomako
• definition
– Where the negligence to a duty of care is so great
that a jury consider it to be...
Strict liability
These are crimes with no ______ __________
They can be either statutory crimes
eg?
Or more rarely common-...
Strict liability – Statutory crimes
• Courts will only apply SL where
• 1) the statute makes it clear or
• 2) where the st...
Causation
• Where the crime is a “result crime” causation
must also be shown for their to be criminal
liability.
• An exam...
Tests for causation
• The two tests are factual and legal test
• Factual test is also known as?
– BUT FOR
– Give 2 cases w...
Novus Actus Interveniens
• a new or intervening act may break the chain
of causation between D’s act and the result.
• Who...
Actions of a third party.
• Smith
– Third party drops V from stretcher and docs fail to treat
him properly
Was D guilty or...
Actions of The Victim
• The victim may break the chain of causation themselves.
• Williams – V jumped from moving car to a...
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  1. 1. Criminal liability revision
  2. 2. Actus reus and mens rea • Actus reus means: – The physical element of a crime. • Mens rea means: – The mental element of a crime/what the defendant knew, understood, desired, intended.
  3. 3. Identify the mens rea and actus reus elements from the following statutory crime. • The Mrs Dickinson (annoyance of) Act 2014 A person will be guilty of the indictable offence of ‘annoying Mrs Dickinson’ if they use sexist or racist language in the classroom during a lesson whether they mean to offend or are just careless as to the offence they may cause
  4. 4. Actus reus can be one of three things • Act • Omission • State of affairs. • Which is outlined in the following offence? The Failure Act 2014 A person will be guilty of ‘Failure’ if they do not revise using the booklet provided before Easter. • Omission.
  5. 5. What is the general rule about omissions as Actus Reus? • There is no liability for an omission - "A sees B drowning and is able to save him by holding out his hand. A abstains from doing so in order that B may be drowned, and B is drowned. A has committed no offence.“ • Who says? • Stevens J in Digest of the Criminal Law 1887
  6. 6. What are the exceptions to the omissions rule? • Statutory duty to act • Duty arising from a relationship • Where a duty has been taken on • Duty as a public official • Where you have created a dangerous situation • Contractual duty to act. • Cite an authority (case or act) for each.
  7. 7. Mens rea • 3 types of mens rea for criminal liability. – Intention – Recklessness – Gross negligence • 2 types of intention? – Direct and indirect/oblique
  8. 8. Intention • Direct intention: – Definition? • Where D desires the outcome. • Mohan • Oblique intention – Definition? • Where D desires something other than the result but appreciated the result was a virtually certain side-effect of his action. • Woollin.
  9. 9. Oblique intention – development • Moloney (1985) – Foresight of consequences • Hancock and Shankland (1986) – “foresight of ‘likely’ consequence” • Nedrick (1986) – “ was the outcome virtually certain?” • Woollin (1999) – “did the DEFENDANT appreciate the outcome was virtually certain.
  10. 10. Recklessness • Original test was _________jective. • This is from the case C________ • This was been replaced in criminal liability by the ______jective test. • Outlined in the caseC___________ • This was then criticised in the case _____________ which reinstored C______________ recklessnesss as the criminal standard.
  11. 11. Gross Negligence • Adomako • definition – Where the negligence to a duty of care is so great that a jury consider it to be criminal
  12. 12. Strict liability These are crimes with no ______ __________ They can be either statutory crimes eg? Or more rarely common-law crimes eg?
  13. 13. Strict liability – Statutory crimes • Courts will only apply SL where • 1) the statute makes it clear or • 2) where the statute is silent about mens-rea and the G_________ test applies. – Gammon test • Is the law to protect public health/interest? – Case? • Is the law regulatory rather than ‘truly criminal? – Case? • Will applying SL help promote vigilence in this? – Case?
  14. 14. Causation • Where the crime is a “result crime” causation must also be shown for their to be criminal liability. • An example of a result crime is….? • An example of a non-result crime is... ?
  15. 15. Tests for causation • The two tests are factual and legal test • Factual test is also known as? – BUT FOR – Give 2 cases which illustrate this • Dalloway / Pagett • Legal test – D’s action are not “de- ________” – Case? • Don’t forget the thin skull rule! • - case?
  16. 16. Novus Actus Interveniens • a new or intervening act may break the chain of causation between D’s act and the result. • Whose act may break the chain? – Third Party – Victim
  17. 17. Actions of a third party. • Smith – Third party drops V from stretcher and docs fail to treat him properly Was D guilty or not guilty of V’s murder? guilty What was the test? “was the original wound the operating cause of death?” see also Cheshire ! • Jordan • Rare contrasting case – medical treatment was SO NEGLIGENT and his wounds so unconnected to his death
  18. 18. Actions of The Victim • The victim may break the chain of causation themselves. • Williams – V jumped from moving car to avoid being robbed • Roberts – V jumped from a moving car to avoid being raped • If V behaves unreasonably and unforeseeably, the chain will be broken, therefore Williams was not liable, Roberts was. • Hint to remember these: – Williams-Wallet - victim was a Wally. – Roberts- Rapist – victim was Reasonable

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