Actus Reus - Guilty Act

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LLB Criminal Law Mind Map on Actus Reus - Guilty Act, created by scrubsizmint on 10/13/2013.

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Actus Reus - Guilty Act
1 Failure to Act
1.1 Omissions Liability
1.1.1 Contractual Duty (public office)
1.1.1.1 Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1993] AC 789
1.1.1.2 Dytham [1979] 3 All ER 641
1.1.1.3 Pittwood [1902] 19 TLR 37
1.1.2 Special Relationship
1.1.2.1 Gibbons and Proctor [1918] 13 Cr App R 134
1.1.2.2 Smith [1979] Crim LR 251
1.1.3 Assumption of Responsibility
1.1.3.1 Evans [2009] 2 Cr App R 10
1.1.3.2 Ruffell [2003] EWCA Crim 122
1.1.3.3 Instan [1893] 1 QB 450
1.1.3.4 Stone and Dobinson [1977] 2 All ER 341
1.1.4 Creation of a Dangerous Situation
1.1.4.1 Miller [1983] 2 AC 161 Lord Diplock:I see no rational ground for excluding from conduct capable of giving rise to criminal liability conduct which consists of failing to take measures that lie within one’s power to counteract a danger that one has oneself created, if at the time of such conduct one’s state of mind is such as constitutes a necessary ingredient of the offence. I venture to think that the habit of lawyers to talk of "actus reus,"suggestive as it is of action rather than inaction, is responsible for any erroneous notion that failure to act cannot give rise to criminal liability in English law.
1.1.4.2 Fagan v MPC [1968] 3 All ER 442
1.1.4.3 Santana-Bermudez [2004] Crim LR 471
1.2 Statutory Omission
1.2.1 Children and Young Persons Act 1933 s1 Failure to act is offence of failing to look after child under 16
1.2.2 Road Traffic Act 1988 s170 Failure to stop at a road accident is an offence
1.2.3 Road Traffic Act 1988 s6 Failure to provide breath sample is an offence
2 Causation
2.1 Factual: White [1910] 2 KB 124 "but for" test
2.2 Legal Causation
2.2.1 Smith [1959] 2 All ER 193 : Operating and Substantial Cause
2.2.1.1 Substantial: Hennigan [1971] 3 All ER 133 ‘Substantial’ does not mean a large proportion. It refers instead to anything more than a ‘de minimis’, or minimal, cause; judge should not direct jury in any greater detail than this - e.g. requiring more than one fifth of cause
2.2.1.2 Substantial: Cato[1976] 1 All ER 260 at 265-266 (not an 'insubstantial or insignificant contribution')
2.2.1.3 Substantial: Kimsey[1996] Crim LR 35 (acceptable for judge to direct jury that cause need not be substantial, and instead that it must be more than 'a slight or trifling link')
2.2.2 Egg Shell Skull - Blaue [1975] 3 All ER 446 "It has long been the policy of the law that those who use violence on other people must take their victim as they find them. This in our judgment means the whole man, not just the physical man. It does not lie in the mouth of the assailant to say that his victim’s religious beliefs which inhibited him from accepting certain kinds of treatment were unreasonable. The question for decision is what caused the death. The answer is a stab wound."
2.2.3 Pagett [1983] 76 Cr App R 279 (CA) Goff LJ: ‘Where it is necessary to direct the jury’s minds to the question of causation, it is usually enough to direct them simply that, in law, the accused’s act need not be the sole cause or even the main cause of (the prohibited result), it being enough that his act contributed significantly to the result’
2.2.4 Intervening Acts The chain of causation will be broken by the ‘free, deliberate and informed’action of a third party which renders the previous act no longer a substantial and operative cause.
2.2.4.1 Negligent Medical Treatment
2.2.4.1.1 Smith [1959] 2 QB 423 If at the time of death the original wound is still an operating cause and a substantial cause, then the death can properly be said to be the result of the wound, albeit that some other cause of death is also operating. Only if it can be said that the original wounding is merely the setting in which another cause operates can it be said that the death does not result from the wound.
2.2.4.1.2 Cheshire [1991] 1 WLR 844 ‘Even though negligence in the treatment of the victim was the immediate cause of his death, the jury should not regard it as excluding the responsibility of the accused unless the negligent treatment was so independent of his acts, and in itself so potent in causing death, that they regard the contribution made by his acts as insignificant.’
2.2.4.1.3 Jordan [1956] 40 Cr App Rep 152
2.2.4.2 Third Party
2.2.4.2.1 Pagett [1983] 76 Cr App R 279
2.2.4.2.2 Environment Agency v Empress Car Co. (Abertillery) Ltd [1999] 2 AC 22
2.2.4.3 Naturally Occuring Event
2.2.4.3.1 R Perkins (1946) 36 J Cr L & Cr 391 at 393 ‘…if one man knocks down another and goes away leaving his victim not seriously hurt but unconscious, on the floor of a building in which the assault occurred, and before the victim recovers consciousness he is killed in the fall of the building which is shaken down by a sudden earthquake, this is not homicide. The law attributes such a death to the ‘Act of God’and not to the assault, even if it may be certain that the deceased would not have been in the building at the time of the earthquake, had he not been rendered unconsciousness. The blow was the occasion of the man’s being left there, but the blow was not the cause of the earthquake, nor was the deceased left in a position of obvious danger. On the other hand, if the blow had been struck on the seashore, and the assailant had left his victim in imminent peril of an incoming tide which drowned him before consciousness returned, it would be homicide’
2.2.4.4 Action of Victim: Foreseeability
2.2.4.4.1 Roberts [1971] 56 Cr App R 95 ‘Was it the natural result of what the alleged assailant said and did, in the sense that it was something that could reasonably have been foreseen as the consequence of what he was saying or doing?’
2.2.4.4.2 Williams [1992] 2 All ER 183 ‘V’s reaction must be ‘proportionate to the threat, that is to say that it was within the ambit of reasonableness and not so daft as to make it his own voluntary act which amounted to a novus actus interveniens and consequently broke the chain of causation’

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