Causation

For the cases I've included, I've put in some pictures to explain the case rather than write a huge description on each. If you want to find out information about the cases, please refer to my revision notes entitled 'Principles of Criminal Liability Cases' :) Click HERE to be linked straight to them. (They'll pop up in a new window!)

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CAUSATION
The defendant must cause
the harm to the victim
In order to prove that the defendant's actions resulted in the
crime, the prosecution must prove the two elements of
causation.
They have to prove a link between the actions of the
defendant and the consequence. This is called the chain of
causation.
There must be no break in the chain of causation between
the defendant's actus reus and the prohibited consequence.
If there is no link or if there is a novus actus interveniens
(break in the chain) then the defendant may not be liable for
the harm.
Both elements of causation must be proven.
(Novus actus interveniens)

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TYPES OF CAUSATION
FACTUAL
Based on the facts of the case, did the defendant's action
cause the harm?
This is known as the sine qua non test (or `but for' test)
"But for the defendant's actions, would the victim
have suffered the harm?" If no = the defendant is not
liable
(Or more simply put: "If it was for the defendant's actions,
would the victim have suffered the harm?")
R v White
LEGAL
Did the defendant's behaviour make a `significant'
contribution or was it a…read more

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If there is a novus actus interveniens the defendant will not be
liable for the outcome.
According to the court, there are three things which may break
the chain of causation
UNREASONABLE ACTIONS OF THE VICTIM
These will break the chain only if they are so unreasonable as to
be daft.
R v Roberts
20
Other examples could include William & Davis and Majoram.
UNREASONABLE ACTIONS OF A THIRD PARTY
Again, these will only break the chain if they are unreasonable.…read more

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R v Jordan
R v Smith
R v Cheshire
SWITCHING OFF A LIFE SUPPORT MACHINE…read more

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R v Malcherek & Steel
PREEXISTING BELIEFS
R v Blaue
PREEXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION
R v Hayward…read more

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