Actus Reus

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  • Created by: Launston
  • Created on: 13-05-14 09:45
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  • Actus Reus
    • Type of Actus Reus
      • Result eg. the killing of another
      • Conduct eg. driving whilst disqualified
    • Causation
      • Factual
        • 'But for' the defendant's actions, would the victim have died?
          • R v White - son put poison in his mother's tea but she died of a heart attack before it took effect
      • Legal
        • The most culpable and blameworthy conduct
          • Pagett - defendant used his girlfriend as a shield and she was shot
    • Intervening Acts
      • Victim
        • Will only break the chain of causation if they are extreme and unforeseeable
          • Roberts - woman jumped out of moving car for fear she would get sexually assaulted
          • Exception: the thin-skull rule - take your victims as you find them
            • Blaue - jehovah's witness refused life-saving blood transfusion
      • Third Parties
        • There will be a high standard of negligence in medical cases to relieve the defendant of liability
          • This is because the defendant's actions still put the victim in hospital
          • Jordan - administration of abnormally large dose of medicine - death by allergic reaction
            • The doctor's conduct was 'palpably wrong' and the defendant was relieved of liability
          • Cheshire - victim died after complications from a tracheotomy
            • The defendant caused the need for the tracheotomy so could not escape liability
      • Natural Events
        • Must be unforeseeable
    • Omissions: generally do not impose criminal liability but may do if there is a duty to act
      • Relationships
        • Gibbons and Proctor - the father/daughter relationship imposed a duty to care for the child
      • Voluntary assumption of care
        • Gibbons and Proctor - the stepmum had fed the child before so had taken on a voluntary assumption of care which must be upheld
      • Contract
        • If somebody is injured or dies through the defendant's failure to fulfill their contractual obligations, they will be liable
          • Pittwood - failed to close the level crossing gates
      • Dangerous situation
        • Miller


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