Concept of Liability

This is a full summary of the as law unit two which is a concept of liability. It includes many useful diagrams and states all the necessary cases. It takes a form of notes, I just shortened this unit as much as I could to revise, but still, I am confident to say it contains all the informations required:)

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  • Created on: 04-05-10 16:00
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Concept of liability
Introduction to criminal law
Coincidence of actus reus and mens rea
It must be established.
(Fagan v Metropolitan Police Commissioner)
Strict liability offence
Only actus reus required, no need for mens rea.
(R v Larsonneur, Sweet v Parsley, B v DPP)
Non-fatal offences
Common assault
Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Actus reus: cause victim to fear immediate unlawful force.
(Smith v Chief Constable of Woking, words as an assault: R v
Ireland, Tuberville v Savage)
Mens rea: Intention of, or subjective recklessness as to, causing
victim to fear immediate unlawful force.
Injury required: none
Maximum sentence: 6 months or £5,000 fine.

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Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Actus reus: application of unlawful force. (Fagan v
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, indirect force: DPP v K, R v
Haystead, omission: DPP v Santana Bermudez)
Mens rea: Intention of, or subjective recklessness as to,
applying unlawful force.
Injury required: none.
Maximum sentence: 6 months of £5,000 fine.
Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH)
Section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.…read more

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Abrasion Extensive or multiple More than minor
bruising permanent visible
Bruise (including a black eye) Displaced or broken nose Broken or displaced limbs
or bones
Swelling Minor fractures Injuries requiring
substantial loss of blood( i.e.
necessitating a transfusion)
Reddening of the skin Cuts requiring stitches Injury resulting in lengthy
treatment or incapacitation
Superficial cuts Psychiatric injury, beyond
Criminal procedure
Classification of offences
Summary offences- M/C, e.g. Common assault.
Triable either way offences-M/C or C/C, e.g. ABH, theft.…read more

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Tested positive for class A drugs, charged on drug related
If defendant was on bail already
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
Head: DPP- Director of Public Prosecutions, lawyer for at least
10 years. Appointed by Attorney General.
Below: Chief Crown Prosecutor, each head one of 42 areas
divisions of the country, each of which is yet divided into
branches and headed by a Branch Crown Prosecutor.
Functions of the CPS
1. Deciding on the type of offence.
2.…read more

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Punishment of offenders
2. Reduction of Crime
3. Reform and Rehabilitation of offenders
4. Protection of the public
5. The making of reparation by offenders to the people
affected by their offences
Individual- to ensure that offender will not reoffend. Several
penalties. Prison sentence,
Suspended sentence, or a heavy fine. However, 55%
adult prisoners reoffend, young prisoners 70%.
General- aimed at preventing others from committing crimes.
Both aimed at reducing future levels of crime. Also doubtful.…read more

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Unpaid work requirement. 40-300 hours on a suitable
project organised by the probation service. 8 hours sessions
Prohibited activity requirement. Wide variety of activities.
The idea is to try to prevent the defendant from committing
another crime of the type he has just been convicted of by
forbidding the defendant to go to a certain area is often
(R v Winkler)
Curfew requirement. Remaining at fixed address 2-12 hours
in any 24h period. Up to 6 months.
Supervision requirement.…read more

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Lower sentence.
1. Cooperating with the police
2. Mental illness
3. Physical illness
4. No previous convictions
5. Remorse
Reduction in sentence for guilty plea
Guilty plea made early in the proceedings. The Sentencing
Guidelines Council states it should be a reduction up to
one-third when guilty plea is at the first reasonable
opportunity and a one-tenth, when guilty plea is after the trial
has started. Exception: When evidence is overwhelming and
defendant's guilt is clear. Here, only 20% discount.…read more

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Pre-action protocols
Prevention of the case going to the court. List of things to be
done and if the parties do not follow the procedure and give
the required information to the other party, they may be liable
for certain costs if they can make a court claim. Usually a
letter, explaining brief details of how the claim arises; why it is
claimed that the other party is at fault; details of injury or
other damage; and any other relevant matters.…read more

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Civil procedure rules. Case management by judge includes:
Encouraging (to ADR)
Giving directions
Fixing timetables
Burden and standard of proof
On the claimant "on the balance of probabilities". However,
there is an exception, rule of RES IPSA LOQUITUR (things
speak for themselves).
Res ipsa loquitur
Sometimes it is difficult for the claimant to know exactly what
happened, even though it seems obvious that the defendant
must have been negligent. E.g. operation complication, while
the claimant is unconscious.…read more


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