Principles of Criminal Liability: Actus Reus <ul><li>to define Actus Reus </li></ul><ul><li>to be able to outline the basi...
What is Actus Reus? <ul><li>2 parts to a crime: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actus reus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mens rea </li>...
The actus reus must be voluntary <ul><li>If D has no control over his actions then he has not committed the ar. </li></ul>...
<ul><li>Other involuntary acts include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If A pushes B into C. C is hurt then A is liable. </li></ul>...
Consequences of actus reus <ul><li>Generally the ar will result in a consequence. </li></ul><ul><li>This is normally seen ...
Omissions as actus reus <ul><li>Stephen J (19thC)  –  “A sees B drowning and is able to save him by holding out his hand. ...
“ Good Samaritan” <ul><li>France has a law which makes a person responsible for helping other people in an emergency situa...
Should Zoe be guilty of an offence? <ul><li>Zoe is sitting by a swimming pool in the grounds of a hotel. Jason is swimming...
<ul><li>Would it make any difference if Zoe were a lifeguard? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Would it make any difference if Jason...
Exceptions to the rule on omissions <ul><li>In some cases a failure to act is seen as an actus reus. </li></ul><ul><li>Thi...
Research the exceptions to the rule <ul><li>Fill in your table: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
Doctor’s Duty <ul><li>Discontinuing treatment of a patient is not an omission. </li></ul><ul><li>Airdale NHS Trust v Bland...
Issues surrounding omissions (AO2) <ul><li>Should England have a  Good Samaritan  law? </li></ul><ul><li>There is a contra...
<ul><li>Khan and Khan (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Ds supplied heroin to a new user who took it in their presence and then col...
Essay 1 <ul><li>‘ Law should encourage citizens in their civic duty to do ‘the right thing’ in a moral sense and not to tu...
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Law-Exchange.co.uk Shared Resource

  1. 1. Principles of Criminal Liability: Actus Reus <ul><li>to define Actus Reus </li></ul><ul><li>to be able to outline the basic principle. </li></ul><ul><li>Read pp.6-19 OCR </li></ul>
  2. 2. What is Actus Reus? <ul><li>2 parts to a crime: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actus reus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mens rea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ar physical element of a crime: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An act </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An omission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A ‘state of affairs’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In the majority of cases the Ar is something the Defendant (D) does: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stabbing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shooting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hitting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stealing </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The actus reus must be voluntary <ul><li>If D has no control over his actions then he has not committed the ar. </li></ul><ul><li>This was outlined in Hill v Baxter (1958) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(AO1)Here the court provided examples of where a driver could be said not to be acting voluntarily: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heart attack whilst driving + lost control. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stung by a swarm of bees + lost control. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Other involuntary acts include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If A pushes B into C. C is hurt then A is liable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflex action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If your car is hit by a stone causing you to lose control. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Consequences of actus reus <ul><li>Generally the ar will result in a consequence. </li></ul><ul><li>This is normally seen as injury to the victim: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychiatric </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Omissions as actus reus <ul><li>Stephen J (19thC) – “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. A has committed no offence.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally therefore, omission cannot make someone guilty of an offence. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The morality of this issue is something to be questioned though. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. “ Good Samaritan” <ul><li>France has a law which makes a person responsible for helping other people in an emergency situation. </li></ul><ul><li>You can be charged for taking pictures rather than helping or not helping the victims of a car crash. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of law? (AO2) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Should Zoe be guilty of an offence? <ul><li>Zoe is sitting by a swimming pool in the grounds of a hotel. Jason is swimming in the pool. He is the only person in the water and there are no other people near the pool. Jason gets out of the pool and while walking around it he slips and falls into the water. He is knocked unconscious. Zoe sees this happen but she does nothing. Jason drowns. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Would it make any difference if Zoe were a lifeguard? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Would it make any difference if Jason were Zoe’s young son? Why? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Exceptions to the rule on omissions <ul><li>In some cases a failure to act is seen as an actus reus. </li></ul><ul><li>This is where there is a duty on the behalf of D to act. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Statutory duty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contractual duty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duty through a relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A duty which has been voluntarily undertaken </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duty through an official position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duty through a chain of events </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Research the exceptions to the rule <ul><li>Fill in your table: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Principle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case to support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case details </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Doctor’s Duty <ul><li>Discontinuing treatment of a patient is not an omission. </li></ul><ul><li>Airdale NHS Trust v Bland (1993) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bland had been crushed at the Hillsborough disaster. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As a result he was severly brain damaged & in a pvs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doctor’s asked for a ruling that could stop them feeding him. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Court ruled that doctors could even though this meant that Bland would die. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This was held to be in his best interests. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Issues surrounding omissions (AO2) <ul><li>Should England have a Good Samaritan law? </li></ul><ul><li>There is a contradiction over the duty of doctors. </li></ul><ul><li>Under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 all members of a household are liable for failure to protect a child. </li></ul><ul><li>The outcome in Stone v Dobinson can be seen to be harsh. </li></ul><ul><li>So many exceptions mean that it is not certain when a duty to act will exist – this means the law is capable of expanding to cover more situations. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Khan and Khan (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Ds supplied heroin to a new user who took it in their presence and then collapsed. </li></ul><ul><li>They left her alone and by the time they returned to the flat she had died. </li></ul><ul><li>The CoA in it’s obiter said that there could be a duty to summon medical assistance in certain circumstances. </li></ul><ul><li>So that a D could be liable for not doing so. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Essay 1 <ul><li>‘ Law should encourage citizens in their civic duty to do ‘the right thing’ in a moral sense and not to turn a blind eye or fail to act to help someone who is in need.’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider to what extent the criminal law relating to omissions (failures to act) reflects this view. (50) </li></ul></ul>

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