Fault Evaluation

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  • Fault Evaluation 1
    • 1. fault has been defined as "responsibility or blame for an offence or misdeed"
    • so, fault is associated with wrongdoing and the law recognises this by imposing liability and punishment on the wrongdoer
    • this shows there is a strong correlation between fault and liability
    • Professor Hart said that having fault at the centre of liability is a requirement of justice; the legal and social consequences which liability attracts would prima facie, make it unjust to impose liability without fault
    • actus reus illustrates the presence of fault within the law, as Hill v Baxter established that D's actions must be voluntary in order to attract liability
    • actions made involuntarily through no fault of D's own, such as R v T, will entitle D to the defence of automatism - negating fault and resulting in D's acquittal
    • this is good as surely it is only fair that D be held responsible for actions over which he has control
    • however, if D has induced the lack of control, he is blameworthy and automatism is not available, as in Bailey
    • the law should not reward the blameworthy, and to excuse this self inducement would encourage dangerous behaviour and set a dangerous precedent

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