Essay plan - Consider the meaning of fault...

An essay plan for module 6 synoptic law A2

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Consider the meaning and importance of fault-based liability in English
Law (30 marks)
Autonomy ­ responsible for our actions
Although... protect the public etc.
This can be seen through an examination of the criminal and civil law
Criminal ­ fault based liability
Commonly based on fault (is this right?)
Professor Hart
Actus reus ­ has to be a voluntary act Hill v Baxter
Causation rules: Legal
Mens rea ­ more serious mens rea (specific intent) kept for the most serious crimes e.g.
murder, but... recklessness and negligence
Principles of fault upheld by: general defences- Insanity McNaughten rules, show lack
of fault and will absolve defendant from liability. HOWEVER...
Partial defences- Diminished responsibility: Alhuwalia etc. shows lesser fault but still
upholds the seriousness of taking someone's life.
Sentencing issues ­ different types of sentence e.g. long prison sentence/short
Criminal ­ Non fault based liability
Consider public protection as some defences will not succeed in some cases e.g. Peter
Sutcliffe (the Yorkshire ripper), not allowed defence of insanity.
Voluntary intoxication and diabetes cases also:
Distinction between legal fault and moral culpability ­ can be morally blameworthy but
not at fault legally and vice versa ­ Elliot v C
Criminal liability sometimes based more on chance e.g. thin skull rule
Mandatory life sentence
Strict liability! (Alternative options ­ if there is a difficulty in proving knowledge then
reverse the burden of proof on certain issues instead of imposing strict liability!)
An action does not become less harmful because the person who does it did not
have mens rea ­ Wootton
Why emphasise the idea of individual autonomy


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