Criminal Law - Causation

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Mind Map by alena_bigg, updated more than 1 year ago
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Created by alena_bigg almost 6 years ago
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Mind Map on Criminal Law - Causation, created by alena_bigg on 05/08/2014.

Resource summary

Criminal Law - Causation
1 What is the minimal causal contribution required of D?
1.1 Has to be causally linked
1.1.1 Dalloway

Annotations:

  • D was driving a horse cart but lost control of the reins, child ran out in front, not causally linked because even if D had been holding the reins the child would have still been injured (but for test)
1.1.2 White

Annotations:

  • D tried to poison mother, she dies however there is no evidence that she touched the drink containing the poison, no causal link but still attempt
1.2 Does not have to be the sole or main cause
1.2.1 Smith

Annotations:

  • D stabbed a soldier who was taken for the medical treatment which was negligent. However at the time of the victims death D's actions were still a 'substantial and operating cause' 
1.2.2 Hennigan

Annotations:

  • Proposed that the contribution had to be at least 1/5th. This was rejected and contribution was required to be more than 'de minimis'
1.2.3 Benge

Annotations:

  • More than one party can make a contribution. Foreman didn't do enough to keep his men safe by reading timetable wrong. Train driver was also not concentrating. 
1.2.4 Pre-existing life limiting conditions
1.2.4.1 Dyson

Annotations:

  •    Dyson [1908] 2 KB 454:“the proper question to have been submitted to the jury was whether the prisoner accelerated the child’s death by the injuries which he inflicted” (Lord Alverston CJ at 457)   
1.2.4.2 Pain killing drugs for terminally ill

Annotations:

  •    The use of pain-killing drugs to treat the terminally ill may as a side effect accelerate death: the Doctrine of Double Effect  (“perhaps best characterised as a covert recognition, in causation doctrine, of some sort of defence based on clinical medical necessity” (Ashworth & Horder, Principles, at 107)   
1.2.4.2.1 Alridge article
2 Omissions
2.1 No general duty exists, even that of easy rescue
2.2 Specific duties do arise at common law
2.2.1 Contract
2.2.1.1 Pittwood

Annotations:

  • Level crossing gate keeper went off and forgot to shut the gate and a vehicle crossing was struck by the train. Guilty of manslaughter. Contract creates a duty. 
2.2.2 Relationship
2.2.2.1 Stone & Dobinson
2.2.2.2 Gibbins & Proctor

Annotations:

  • Gibbins neglected one of the children, let them die, father stood by and allowed this to happen. Their relationship as parents created a duty
2.2.2.3 Instan
2.2.3 Medical Treatment
2.2.3.1 Adomako

Annotations:

  •    Anaesthetist who didn’t notice his patient’s air supply had become disconnected   
2.2.3.2 Airedale NHS Trust v Bland

Annotations:

  • Bland kept on life support and then decision taken to remove it. Considered an omission rather than a positive act
2.2.4 Creation of dangerous situations
2.2.4.1 Miller

Annotations:

  • Fell asleep with a cigarette, woke up to a fire, made no attempt to put it out and just went to sleep elsewhere
2.2.4.1.1 Use Miller to understand
2.2.4.1.1.1 Fagan v MPC

Annotations:

  •    Defendant parks his car on the policeman’s foot, accidentally. Police man screams, Fagan loiters. Divisional Court say he’s guilty of assault because he sits in the car enjoying the situation. Argued that it was an act then said it was an omission. According to Miller it’s omission by creation of dangerous situation   
2.2.4.2 Evans

Annotations:

  •    Women who live together, all three are heroin addicts. Carly became ill after taking heroin that Evans gave her, mother and Evans did not want to call for help so they put her to bed and she died. Both were convicted of manslaughter on the basis of the mother’s relationship and Evans contributed to the situation which made it life threatening   
3 Novus Actus Interveniens
3.1 Medical Intervention
3.1.1 Smith

Annotations:

  •    D stabs a soldier, he is then taken to a medical tent for treatment, on the way he is dropped and in the tent he is given negligent treatment. Soldier dies, defendant wanted to blame the treatment but the courts said that by the time he died D’s cause was still ‘operating’ and ‘substantial’.   
3.1.2 Cheshire

Annotations:

  •    Cheshire shoots D, D gets taken into hospital and operated on, several weeks later his wounds were healing and no longer life threatening, however, he continued to have breathing difficulty and died from complications arising from the tracheotomy. D’s conviction upheld.   
3.1.3 Jordan

Annotations:

  •  D had stabbed the victim who was in hospital having almost recovered when he was given an antibiotic he was intolerant to. The treatment was stopped. However it was then resumed and resulted in D’s death. This action was ‘palpably wrong’ and relegated Jordan’s contribution to the history.   
3.2 Refusal of medical treatment
3.2.1 Blaue
3.2.2 Holland

Annotations:

  • The defendant was involved in a fight in which he inflicted a deep cut on the victim's finger. The victim failed to take care of the wound or get medical assistance and the wound became infected. Eventually gangrene set in and the victim was advised to have his arm amputated. The victim refused and died.
3.3 Victim injured whilst escaping
3.3.1 Roberts

Annotations:

  •    Victim accepted a lift from the defendant; he tried to make sexual advances towards her. She jumped out of the car. Where the victim's actions were a natural result of the defendant's actions it matters not whether the defendant could foresee the result. Only where the victim’s actions were so “daft” or unexpected that no reasonable man could have expected it would there be a break in the chain of causation.   
3.3.2 Williams

Annotations:

  • Hitch hiker jumped out of car because he thought he was being robbed. Not enough evidence of such a threat. No conviction upheld. 
3.3.3 Reasonable foreseeability
3.4 Voluntary act of a victim
3.4.1 Kennedy (No 2)

Annotations:

  •    “When is it appropriate to find someone guilty of manslaughter where that person has been involved in the supply of a class A drug which is then freely and voluntarily self-administered by the person to whom it was supplied, and the administration of the drug then causes his death?” “The answer to the certified question is: in the case of a fully-informed and responsible adult, never.” 
3.4.2 Dhaliwal

Annotations:

  • Husband drove wife to suicide, not persecuted.  If considered in tandem with Kennedy No 2, the suicide would have been a voluntary move. It's like handing heroine to someone. You can hand someone a gun but is it fair for you to be responsible for what they do with it?
3.4.3 Limitations
3.4.3.1 Pagett

Annotations:

  •    “a reasonable act performed for the purpose of self preservation, being of course itself an act caused by the accused’s own act, does not operate as a novus actus interveniens” (Lord Goff at 298) So if you caused the need for self defence you can do one 
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