ACTUS REUS

Aasim Sheikh
Mind Map by Aasim Sheikh, updated more than 1 year ago
Aasim Sheikh
Created by Aasim Sheikh about 6 years ago
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Description

Preliminary information on mens rea.

Resource summary

ACTUS REUS
  1. VOLUNTARY ACT 'REQUIREMENT'

    Annotations:

    • many criminal offences require proof that the defendant performed a voluntary act, or omission, or was part of a state of affairs.Sometimes the defendant can be liable for the acts of others. 
    1. Omissions
      1. when the defendant is under a duty to act
        1. statutory duty

          Annotations:

          • Road traffic act section 6 imposes statutory duty on drivers to provide a breath test when required to do so by a constable.
          1. duties of law enforcement

            Annotations:

            • a police officer who fails to protect a citizen can be held to have committed an offence.
            1. assumed duties

              Annotations:

              • voluntary assumption of responsibility, expressed or implied. see cases:1. Evans                               2. lewin v CPS
              1. continuing act

                Annotations:

                • Fagan v Metropolitan police commissioner defendant accidentally drove his car over a policeman's foot, after which he refused to remove the car. appealed on the basis that he did not have the mens rea when he committed the act, and did not commit an act when he had the mens rea.although the court said, Actus reus = battery = exerting force on the policeman's leg mens rea existed in the act of omitting to move the car
                1. ownership or control of property

                  Annotations:

                  • owner of property must seek to prevent the crime sought to be committed by another person in his presence.
                  1. creation of danger

                    Annotations:

                    • R v MIller, lit cigarette + asleep + wakes up +  falls asleep = arson
                    1. Contractual duty

                      Annotations:

                      • in pittwood, the defendant failed to perform his duty of closing a gate when required, resulting in the death of another person. Contractual duty owed to the employer made him criminally liable.
                  2. Situational offences
                    1. possession of contraband substances
                      1. possession of a weapon
                        1. drunk driving
                          1. illegal immigrants
                          2. liability for the acts of other people
                            1. vicarious liability
                              1. Innocent agency
                            2. causation
                              1. factual or 'but for'

                                Annotations:

                                • the defendant's act is a but for cause of a result,if, but for the defendant's act, the result would not have occurred. 
                                1. legal causation
                                  1. 'SUBSTANTIAL AND OPERATING CAUSES'

                                    Annotations:

                                    • substantial: must contribute to the end result to a significant extent. operating: the defendants act must the operating cause of the result.
                                  2. BREAKING THE CHAIN OF CAUSATION

                                    Annotations:

                                    • novus actus interveniens: A free voluntary act of a third party which renders the original ac no longer a substantial and operating cause of the result
                                    1. Acts of third parties

                                      Annotations:

                                      • R v Kennedy B's act must be a free, voluntary, and informed act. B's act must render A's act no longer a substantial and operating cause.
                                      1. act of victim

                                        Annotations:

                                        • R v Roberts (makes indecent gestures, resulting in victim jumping out of his car) Here act of victim did not break the chain. R v Blaue (After being stabbed by Blaue , the victim refuses blood transfusion as a treatment (since she was a jehovah's witness), and died.
                                        1. omissions of third parties

                                          Annotations:

                                          • does not break a chain of causation.
                                          1. ACTS OF GOD

                                            Annotations:

                                            • Freak accidents can break the chain of causation
                                          2. Thin skull rule

                                            Annotations:

                                            • Take the victim as you see them, with all (dis)abilities and (in)abilities, even if they are not aware of them.
                                            1. Intended results

                                              Annotations:

                                              • little case law for unintended results  [ see michael (1840) 9 C & P 356]
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