OCR A2 CRIMINAL LAW: ACTUS REUS - OMISSION

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DAMO.

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  • Created on: 29-10-12 23:00
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DAMIEN
1. Actus reus ­
-guilty act (physical element)
-Prosecution has to prove that the defendant committed the actus reus -> Art 6 ECHR ­ innocent until
proven guilty
-standard of proof in a criminal case = Beyond reasonable doubt (person's liberty is at stake)
-Actus reus is the `doing piece' of any crime. Actus Reus is all the elements of an offence other than
the mental element (mens rea)
- prosecution must prove that the conduct Is voluntary. If the D I not in control of his actions for some
reason his actions are obviously not voluntary.
E.g. HILL V BAXTER
Facts: COURT GAVE SOME EXAMPLES OF WHEN A DRIVER WOULD NOT BE IN CONTROL OF HIS
VEHICLE:
1. STUNG BY A SWAMB OF BEES
2. CAR WAS STRUCKED BY A ROCK
3. HEART ATTACK
Principle: TO COMMIT THE ACTUS REUS OF A CRIME THE CONDUCT MUST BE VOLUNTARY
KAY V BUTTERWORTH
Facts: D FELL ASLEEP WHILE DRIVING AND KILLED PEOPLE
Principle: D'S CONDUCT WAS VOLUNTARY AS HE HAS CHOSEN TO DRIVE EVEN THOUGH HE
KNEW THAT HE WAS TERRIBLY TIRED
EXCEPTION:
IN SOME RARE CASES A PERSON CAN BE CONVICTED OF A CRIME EVEN THOUGH THEIR ACTIONS WERE
NOT VOLUNTARY. THESE CASES ARE KNOWN AS STATE OF AFFAIRS CRIMES.
E.g. LARSONMEUR
Facts: D = FRENCH WOMAN WHO WAS ORDERED TO LEAVE UK. SHE DECIDED TO GO TO IRELAND. IRISH
POLICE DEPARTED HER BACK TO UK, WHERE SHE WAS ARRESTED UNDER ALIENS ORDER 1920 WHEN
SHE LANDED. SHE WAS CONVICTED OF BEING IN THE UK WITHOUT PERMISSION.SHE ARGUED THAT
HER ACTIONS WEREN'T VOLUNTARY.
Principle: IN STATE OF AFFAIRS CRIMES THE ACTUS REUS DOESN'T HAVE TO VOLUNTARY. THE AR
ACCURS BY `BEING FOUND' IN A CERTAIN SITUATION.
I. OMISSION -> A FAILURE TO DO SOMETHING

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DAMIEN
E.g. WHEN YOU SEE SOMEBODY BEING IN A POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING SITUATION AND YOU
CHOOSE TO IGNORE IT AND SADLY THAT PERSON DIES, YOU didn't commit a crime. In the UK there is
not a legal duty to help in an emergency 9there is moral duty).
- In countries like France and the Netherlands there is a `good Samaritan' law.…read more

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DAMIEN
AT THE END OF THE FIGHT THE PO SAID TO A HOT-DOG MANTHAT IT WAS AN END OF HIS
SHIFT AND WENT HOME.
-Principle: D CONVICTED OF NEGLECTING TO PERFORM HIS DUTY ­ HE HAD A DUTY BECAUSE
OF HIS POSITION AS A POLICE OFFICER.…read more

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