But it wasn‟t just me!
Causation
So, you‟ve done an act (or failed to
act)…
But V does something to make the
harm worse…
O...
Dominoes…
How much can you remember about omissions?
Lollipop level?
No hand outs, just brains.
Sticker satisfactory?
Use ...
What is Causation?
As well as establishing that D has done (or failed to do!)
something, we also have to prove that the ac...
A conundrum…
Louis pushes Dave off the Empire
State Building. Unknown to him,
Reginald is firing his gun out of the
window...
General rules:
This is the last legal step that is taken to establish D‟s legal
responsibility for the result (normally a ...
Got the basic
principles?
James has been stabbed forty
times. Sam comes along and
pricks the end of his finger with
a draw...
Breaking the chain
Key Vocabulary:
Novus actus interveniens
(new intervening act)
The courts have established a
number of ...
Louis pushes Dave off the Empire
State Building. Unknown to
him, Reginald is firing his gun out
of the window of a room on...
Starter:
True or false?
1. Causation helps to prove that the actions or omissions done by D resulted
in the harm to V.
2. ...
Possible Break One:
Unreasonable Actions of V
Roberts 1971
Majoram 2000
Williams & Davis 1992
Scenario:
V tries to escape ...
Possible Break Two:
Unreasonable Actions of Third Party
Scenario:
D causes V some harm, but someone else also does somethi...
Cheshire 1991
Possible Break One:
‘Palpably Wrong’ Medical Treatment
D causes V some harm, but medical treatment makes the...
D had lost his daughter and blamed
his mother for having killed her. His
mother did not deny her
responsibility and promis...
Some further considerations:
‘Palpably Wrong’ Medical Treatment
R v Jordan 1956
R v Smith 1959
D actions were still
“opera...
Some other things which might break it...
R v Malcherek &
Steel 1981
Life Support Machines D’s beliefs, state of mind or
i...
Consolidation:
Have you got the essentials?
Student Task:
All of you will be able to complete the chain to demonstrate you...
Starter:
Can you name the case…
1. Her heart wasn’t up to the
drink.
2. I was only trying to touch her
lovely coat. She di...
Applying the Law:
Are the following defendants still liable?
Bob rejects Vicky’s advances, so she stabs him. He is
taken t...
Section C Exam Question
Section C Guidance
Answer one out of a
choice of two questions
20 marks… 20 minutes
ALL AO2 app...
Causation must be proven by the defence and establishes that V’s actions resulted in the harm to
D. They must prove three ...
Causation must be proven by the prosecution and establishes that D’s actions or omissions
resulted in the harm to V. They ...
Example Answer:
Damian and Juan are arguing and Damian pulls out a knife. Juan runs into the road and knocks over a cyclis...
Now for our class turn.
Damian and Juan are arguing and Damian pulls out a knife. Juan runs into the road and knocks over ...
… and finally, your turn.
Damian and Juan are arguing and Damian pulls out a knife. Juan runs into the road and knocks ove...
D had lost his daughter and blamed
his mother for having killed her. His
mother did not deny her
responsibility and promis...
Plenary:
Canyouidentifytheterm
fromthedefinition?
Where X does an act so daft, that D is no longer
responsible for the out...
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Transcript of "Causation 2013 14"

  1. 1. But it wasn‟t just me! Causation So, you‟ve done an act (or failed to act)… But V does something to make the harm worse… Or a third party does something to make the harm worse… Or the medical staff make a mistake which makes the harm worse… Are you still liable?
  2. 2. Dominoes… How much can you remember about omissions? Lollipop level? No hand outs, just brains. Sticker satisfactory? Use the hand out Too easy? When might a non- voluntary act criminalise you?
  3. 3. What is Causation? As well as establishing that D has done (or failed to do!) something, we also have to prove that the act actually lead to the harm to V. This is called the chain of causation. D’s actions V’s harm Imagine this…. You cause a paper cut to Miss Hart. Twenty minutes later Bob stabs Miss Hart and she dies of blood loss. Are you responsible for her death? You stab Miss Hart once with a knife. Twenty minutes later Bob stabs Miss Hart once as well and she dies of blood loss. Are you responsible for her death?
  4. 4. A conundrum… Louis pushes Dave off the Empire State Building. Unknown to him, Reginald is firing his gun out of the window of a room on the 43rd floor. As Dave falls past Reginald’s window, one of the bullets hits him, killing him instantly. Dave hits the floor. Who is legally responsible for his death?
  5. 5. General rules: This is the last legal step that is taken to establish D‟s legal responsibility for the result (normally a death) Legal CausationFactual Causation White 1910 Thabo Meli „but for‟ More than Minimal Substantive Operative
  6. 6. Got the basic principles? James has been stabbed forty times. Sam comes along and pricks the end of his finger with a drawing pin. James dies Some of you might even be able to: Discuss how the legal principles might affect the outcome with the following variations to the facts: What if James had been stabbed by forty people, each inflicting one wound? How would causation affect their liability? What if the car that hit Gladys was speeding down a one way street the wrong way? Use your understanding to decide whether Sam and Nigel are liable for the deaths in the scenarios below: Nigel pulls a knife on Bob who runs down the pavement and hits Gladys. Gladys falls into the road and is hit by a car and dies E Grade Make a decision! C Grade Apply each test to the scenario to explain how he meets it. A Grade Use a supporting case, which you explain and link to the scenario
  7. 7. Breaking the chain Key Vocabulary: Novus actus interveniens (new intervening act) The courts have established a number of situations which may break the chain of causation, but please be aware that in reality it is very, very hard to break it! After all, D has normally done something bad, even if someone else made the harm worse. These are known as new intervening acts.
  8. 8. Louis pushes Dave off the Empire State Building. Unknown to him, Reginald is firing his gun out of the window of a room on the 43rd floor. As Dave falls past Reginald‟s window, one of the bullets hits him, killing him instantly. Dave hits the floor. Who is legally responsible for his death? Reason, using at least one case in your discussion! Plenary: So can you answer the problem?
  9. 9. Starter: True or false? 1. Causation helps to prove that the actions or omissions done by D resulted in the harm to V. 2. It is only the person who inflicts the final blow who can ever be charged with murder. 3. Blanc was not guilty of murder as there was no evidence that his poison contributed to his father’s death. 4. There are two types of causation real and legal causation. 5. Something that breaks the chain is known a brand new act.
  10. 10. Possible Break One: Unreasonable Actions of V Roberts 1971 Majoram 2000 Williams & Davis 1992 Scenario: V tries to escape D and is injured in the attempt.... Is D liable for the harm?
  11. 11. Possible Break Two: Unreasonable Actions of Third Party Scenario: D causes V some harm, but someone else also does something to harm V. Is D liable for the harm caused by the third party, even if they make it worse? R v Pagett 1983 R v Rafferty 2007 “the free deliberate and informed intervention of a second person who intends to exploit the situation created by the first, but is not acting on concert with him, is normally held to relieve the first actor of criminal responsibility”.
  12. 12. Cheshire 1991 Possible Break One: ‘Palpably Wrong’ Medical Treatment D causes V some harm, but medical treatment makes the harm worse, or even kills them! Is D liable for the harm? 1. Did Cheshire succeed in his appeal? 2. Outline the main facts of the case, in no more than two bullet points! 3. Why was D appealing his conviction? 4. Were the gunshot wounds considered the substantial and operative cause of death by the court? 5. Why do you think that the courts prefer to blame Cheshire instead of the doctors? 6. When might the actions of the Doctors break the chain of causation? 7. Who do you think caused the death of the victim? Why? Reason your answer using the tests! Challenge: The Times chose the headline “no such thing as murder by halves”. How true is that as a statement of the law?
  13. 13. D had lost his daughter and blamed his mother for having killed her. His mother did not deny her responsibility and promised to commit suicide. Eight days later she still had not done it. The man then came into her hut with a stick and some rope. He tied the rope to a rafter, made a noose at the other end, and urged his mother to "Get up and hang yourself." The woman asked for something to stand on. The man put a block of wood under the rope. He then left the hut and watched his mother get up on the block of wood, put the noose around her neck, and kick the block away. Did the man cause the death of his mother? Plenary In your books, answer the question, using at least two cases to support your conclusions.
  14. 14. Some further considerations: ‘Palpably Wrong’ Medical Treatment R v Jordan 1956 R v Smith 1959 D actions were still “operative and substantive” Only break if so independent of original wound to be a new chain of causation. AO2: Do you think that the outcome of this case was just and fair to D? The doctors actions did break the chain. Important Material Facts: How bad can it be, and still maintain the chain? …so when might it actually break the chain?
  15. 15. Some other things which might break it... R v Malcherek & Steel 1981 Life Support Machines D’s beliefs, state of mind or inherent weakness. R v Blaue 1975 Holland 1841Dear 1996
  16. 16. Consolidation: Have you got the essentials? Student Task: All of you will be able to complete the chain to demonstrate your understanding of how the chain of causation works… Some of you will be able to use a second case to illustrate a case where the chain has broken
  17. 17. Starter: Can you name the case… 1. Her heart wasn’t up to the drink. 2. I was only trying to touch her lovely coat. She didn’t need to jump! 3. She’s definitely not a shield – despite the size of her stomach. 4. I don’t care what you believe... as Jehovah is my witness. 5. Oh! So that’s the one you’re allergic to. Are you sure? 6. Fish and chips can be dangerous 7. Who knew soldiers could be that clumsy?
  18. 18. Applying the Law: Are the following defendants still liable? Bob rejects Vicky’s advances, so she stabs him. He is taken to hospital where it is discovered he has a rare blood type and the hospital does not have enough supplies of his blood. He dies. Gary decides to rob a bank. He takes his girlfriend with him as a getaway driver. The robbery goes wrong and armed police arrive. He tries to escape and uses his girlfriend as shield. The police start firing and his girlfriend dies. Dave is fed up of his wife. He decides to kill her and puts an overdose of arsenic in her morning tea. She takes a couple of sips and passes out. Thinking she is dead, Dave drags her out of the house, whacking her head on the pavement. He dumps her in the skip at the bottom of the street. She is found and taken to hospital, where it is discovered that she has extensive brain damage, and the doctors declare her dead, turning off the life support machine.
  19. 19. Section C Exam Question Section C Guidance Answer one out of a choice of two questions 20 marks… 20 minutes ALL AO2 application marks (no cases!)  5 Bullet points. Start with definition Conclude on statement’s accuracy with a reason Treat each statement separately Damian and Juan are arguing and Damian pulls out a knife. Juan runs into the road and knocks over a cyclist, Brenda. Juan suffers bruising and a small cut from the collision. Brenda falls under the wheels of Manuel’s car and suffers head injuries. Brenda has an unusually thin skill and dies. Juan is scared to run into Damian again, and refuses to go to the doctor to get his injuries checked. After a couple of weeks, his cut has become infected and he develops gangrene. Finally, he goes to hospital where Dr Smith advises him to have the finger amputated. Damian agrees, but Dr Smith cuts off the wrong finger, and the gangrene spreads, killing Juan. Evaluate the accuracy of each of the four statements A, B, C, and D individually, as they apply to the facts in the above scenario. Statement A: Damian is not liable for the bruising suffered by Juan because he did not hurt Juan in the first place. Statement B: Damian is not liable for the death of Brenda because she has an unusually thin skill. Statement C: Damian is not responsible for Juan’s death as it was Dr Smith’s error which caused the death. Statement D: Damian is not responsible for Juan’s death Juan chose not to get treatment.
  20. 20. Causation must be proven by the defence and establishes that V’s actions resulted in the harm to D. They must prove three tests, although D might argue that there is something that has broken the rope of causation, and so they are not liable. Factual causation is known as the sine qua non test, and is illustrated in the case of White, where D put alcohol in his mother’s food, and she died of a heart attack. As his poison had not contributed to the death, and she’d’ve died anyway, he found not guilty of murder, and guilty of manslaughter instead. In addition, the court must prove legal causation which is known as the de minimal rule. This means that whatever harm D caused must still be substantial and operative when V dies. This is illustrated in the case of Peach Melba, where after being stabbed, V was thrown off a cliff and died from exposure. D was still liable because the wounds were still operative when V died. It does mean that only one person can be found liable for a death. There can be a break in the necklace of causation, and the courts have identified three areas which might: unreasonable actions of V, unreasonable actions of a third party or palpably wrong medical treatment. For something to be unreasonable, it must be so stupid as to be unforeseeable. Such as in the case of Gadgett, where he used his mum as a shield and fired at the police. The court said the response of the police was unforeseeable, and so D was liable. How right is the following paragraph?
  21. 21. Causation must be proven by the prosecution and establishes that D’s actions or omissions resulted in the harm to V. They must prove two tests, although D might argue that there is something that has broken the chain of causation, and so they are not liable. Factual causation is known as the sine qua non test, and is illustrated in the case of White, where D put poision in his mother’s drink, and she died of a heart attack. As his poison had not contributed to the death, and she’d’ve died anyway, he found not guilty of murder, and guilty of attempted murder instead. In addition, the court must prove legal causation which is known as the de minimus rule. This means that whatever harm D caused must still be substantial and operative when V dies. This is illustrated in the case of Thabo Meli, where after being stabbed, V was thrown off a cliff and died from exposure. D was still liable because the wounds were still operative when V died. It does mean that more than one person can be found liable for a death. There can be a break in the chain of causation, and the courts have identified three areas which might: unreasonable actions of V, unreasonable actions of a third party or palpably wrong medical treatment. For something to be unreasonable, it must be so daft as to be unforeseeable. Such as in the case of Pagett, where he used his girlfriend as a shield and fired at the police. The court said the response of the police was unforeseeable, and so D was not liable. It should be as right as this one!
  22. 22. Example Answer: Damian and Juan are arguing and Damian pulls out a knife. Juan runs into the road and knocks over a cyclist, Brenda. Juan suffers bruising and a small cut from the collision. Brenda falls under the wheels of Manuel’s car and suffers head injuries. Brenda has an unusually thin skill and dies. Juan is scared to run into Damian again, and refuses to go to the doctor to get his injuries checked. After a couple of weeks, his cut has become infected and he develops gangrene. Finally, he goes to hospital where Dr Smith advises him to have the finger amputated. Damian agrees, but Dr Smith cuts off the wrong finger, and the gangrene spreads, killing Juan. Evaluate the accuracy of each of the four statements A, B, C, and D individually, as they apply to the facts in the above scenario. Statement A: Damian is not liable for the bruising suffered by Juan because he did not hurt Juan in the first place. • In order to be liable, Damian must have legally and factually caused the harm to Juan, without any unforeseeable interventions occurring. • Damian’s harm does not have to be the only cause, but it must be a more than minimal cause, which it is as it caused Juan to run away and be hit, and thus need to go to hospital. • If he hadn’t have taken out the knife, then Juan would not have needed to go to hospital, and so he also passes the legal test as his acts are a more than minimal cause of the harm. • As Damian is both legally and factually responsible, the only thing that could relieve him of liability would be Juan’s acts in running away. However these aren’t so daft as to be unforeseeable as it is reasonable for someone to run from a knife, so the chain is not broken. • Therefore the statement is not accurate as Damian is both legally and factually liable for the bruising.
  23. 23. Now for our class turn. Damian and Juan are arguing and Damian pulls out a knife. Juan runs into the road and knocks over a cyclist, Brenda. Juan suffers bruising and a small cut from the collision. Brenda falls under the wheels of Manuel’s car and suffers head injuries. Brenda has an unusually thin skill and dies. Juan is scared to run into Damian again, and refuses to go to the doctor to get his injuries checked. After a couple of weeks, his cut has become infected and he develops gangrene. Finally, he goes to hospital where Dr Smith advises him to have the finger amputated. Damian agrees, but Dr Smith cuts off the wrong finger, and the gangrene spreads, killing Juan. Evaluate the accuracy of each of the four statements A, B, C, and D individually, as they apply to the facts in the above scenario. Statement B: Damian is not liable for the death of Brenda because she has an unusually thin skill.
  24. 24. … and finally, your turn. Damian and Juan are arguing and Damian pulls out a knife. Juan runs into the road and knocks over a cyclist, Brenda. Juan suffers bruising and a small cut from the collision. Brenda falls under the wheels of Manuel’s car and suffers head injuries. Brenda has an unusually thin skill and dies. Juan is scared to run into Damian again, and refuses to go to the doctor to get his injuries checked. After a couple of weeks, his cut has become infected and he develops gangrene. Finally, he goes to hospital where Dr Smith advises him to have the finger amputated. Damian agrees, but Dr Smith cuts off the wrong finger, and the gangrene spreads, killing Juan. Evaluate the accuracy of each of the four statements A, B, C, and D individually, as they apply to the facts in the above scenario. Statement C: Damian is not responsible for Juan’s death as it was Dr Smith’s error which caused the death. Statement D: Damian is not responsible for Juan’s death Juan chose not to get treatment. In your green books, complete the answer for statements A and B, to demonstrate your skills.
  25. 25. D had lost his daughter and blamed his mother for having killed her. His mother did not deny her responsibility and promised to commit suicide. Eight days later she still had not done it. The man then came into her hut with a stick and some rope. He tied the rope to a rafter, made a noose at the other end, and urged his mother to "Get up and hang yourself." The woman asked for something to stand on. The man put a block of wood under the rope. He then left the hut and watched his mother get up on the block of wood, put the noose around her neck, and kick the block away. Did the man cause the death of his mother? In your books, answer the question, using at least two cases to support your conclusions.
  26. 26. Plenary: Canyouidentifytheterm fromthedefinition? Where X does an act so daft, that D is no longer responsible for the outcome. Where D takes their victim as they find them, with their underlying physical weaknesses, beliefs or decisions. Something which may break the chain of causation and relieve D of their liability. Where the treatment is so wrong that it constitutes a new chain of causation. D’s harm to V must still be functioning and significant enough when V dies for D to be liable.

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