Actus Reus

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  • Actus Reus
    • An act, omission or a state of affairs
      • Act or omission must be voluntary
        • Hill V Baxter, e.g. heart attack whilst driving
        • Absolute liability (not voluntary) rare cases - Larsonneur
      • Omissions
        • General rule - a person cant be guilty of an offence if they fail to act
          • Stephen's Digest of the Criminal Law
          • Exceptions
            • A contractual duty - Pittwood
            • Relationship - Gibbins and Proctor
            • Voluntarily - Stone and Dobinson
            • Ones official position - Dytham
            • D has set in motion a chain of events - Miller
    • Causation
      • Factual causation - D must be in fact the cause of the consequence
        • 'But for test' - R V White
      • Legal causation - limits broad factual causation, D must be the cause in law of the consequence
        • Operating and Substantial Cause
          • The 'Deminimus Rule' - R V Smith
        • Thin skull rule - take your victim as you find him
          • R V Blaue - blood transfusion
          • R V Hayward - unknown condition
      • Novus Actus Interviens
        • Can break chain of causation
          • The act of a third party
            • Usually medical negligence - got to be 'so potent' in its actions and independent of D's act
              • R V Jordan - V died of pneumonia in hospital after wounds healed from D - medical is 'so potent'
              • R V Smith - D stabbed another soldier, medics failed to diagnose V, D guilty
          • The victims own actions
            • If D causes V to act in a foreseeable way, D is guilty of Vs actions
              • Roberts - V jumped out Ds car after declining sexual advances, D guilty of Vs injuries
              • Williams - V jumped out Ds car, no evidence of robbery, Ds not guilty
          • A natural or unpredictable event

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