Criminal and Tort law model answers (Full Marks)

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  • Created on: 24-05-13 06:57
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Causation is where it must be proven that the D's actions were the direct cause of the actual harm to
the V e.g. did the slap cause the bruise? Legal and Factual causation must be proven and there must
be no intervening acts to break the chain of causation for the D to be guilty.
Factual causation is where it must be shown that `but for' the D's actions, the harm would not have
occurred (Pagett). E.g. `but for' the D slapping the face, the V's face would not have been bruised.
Legal causation is where if more than 1 person contributed to the harm to the V, the D's actions need
not be a substantial cause of the harm but must be more than the minimal cause of the harm. The D
must also take the V as they find them; this means if there's anything unusual about the V which
makes the harm more serious, the D will be liable for the more serious harm. This is known as the thin
skull rule (Blaue).
Intervening acts include acts of a third party, a natural but unpredictable event or the victims own
actions. Medical treatment will only break the chain of causation if it is so independent of the D's
actions and so potent in causing death that the D's actions are insignificant (Jordan). The V's own
action can break the chain of causation if they are not within the `ambit of reasonableness' e.g. it is
reasonable for the V to jump from a moving car to avoid sexual advances (Roberts) and so the D was
liable to the injuries suffered to the V.
Mens rea
Mens rea is the mental element of the crime; what the defendant was thinking when committing the
actus reus. Each offence has its own A/R and M/R, apart from strict liability offences, and they must
occur at the same time for the D to be guilty e.g. theft requires the intention to steal while taking the
item. There are 2 levels of mens rea.
Intention is the highest level of M/R; it is when the consequence was the D's main aim or purpose
(Mohan). E.g. if the D stabs the V in the heart, it is his intention to kill. Sometime intention has to be
found as the consequence was not the D's main aim- this is done by a 2 part test by a jury:
1) Was it a virtual certainty that harm or death would occur? (Objectively)
2) Did the D realise this? (Subjectively)
If they are able to answer yes to both parts, oblique intent is found (Woollin) e.g. if a man put a bomb
on a plane intending to claim the insurance money, it is a virtual certainty that death would occur and
the D must have realised this.
Recklessness is the lowest level of M/R and is always subjective. It is where the D realises the risk but
goes ahead with his actions anyway. In Cunningham, recklessness was not found as the D did not
realise the risk of the gas seeping out and poisoning his neighbour.

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Generally under English law, there is no `Good Samaritan' rule, however an omission can form the A/R
of an offence where the D is under a duty. There are 6 duties under which an omission to act can form
the A/R of an offence.
1) If the D has a relationship with the V, an omission to act e.g.…read more

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Duty of care
Duty of care was first established in Donoghue v Stevenson as `you must avoid acts or omissions
which you can reasonably foresee will harm or injure your neighbour'. This was established in Caparo
v Dickman into a 3 part test and all 3 parts must be satisfied for there to be a duty of care:
1) Was it reasonably foreseeable that some harm or damage would occur between the D and
C? (Kent v Griffiths) e.g.…read more

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Res Ipsa Loquitur.
Normally in tort law, the burden of proof is placed on the claimant to prove that on the balance of
probabilities, the D was more likely than not to have been in breach of his duty of care. However in
some cases this is not possible if, for example, the C was unconscious at the time of the breach.…read more

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Triable either way
D will be brought before the magistrates for their first court appearance. They will be given a free
duty solicitor to advise them on their plea. If they plead guilty, they will be sentenced in the
Magistrate's Court at a later date. If they plead guilty, the magistrates then review the seriousness
of the case and their own sentencing powers to decide whether or to accept jurisdiction over the
case.…read more

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Bail can be granted by the police; they are released from police custody and must return to court on
a set date. They may set conditions on this bail such as the D must surrender their passport or turn up
at the police station at regular intervals.…read more

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£5000 or £1000 for personal injury, fast track if it is under £25000 or multitrack if she's
claiming for over £25000
Assault or battery S.39 Criminal Justice Assault- to cause fear Intention (Mohan) or
Act 1988 of immediate Recklessness
personal violence (Cunningham) as to
(Smith v Chief the A/R
Constable of Woking)
No physical contact is
needed for an assault
Battery- the
application of
unlawful force
Can be indirect-
Assault occasioning S.…read more


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