First 621 words of the document:
Fault essay structure:
Definition: Fault is how blameworthy someone is for a consequence.
Criminal law General rule is that the D has to have the required mens rea to be
guilty of an offence. Examples Inc. intention, subjective recklessness or grossly
Direct Intention is where the D intended to have caused the consequence and
oblique intent is where the D realised that the consequence was a virtual certainty
and went on to do it anyway.
However , some crimes have lower requirements of mens rea compared to the actus
reus. E.g. Murder requires intention to either kill or cause serious harm. To cause
serious harm is a lower level of fault for a serious crime which is a negative as unfair.
ositive of the
English Law system and the importance of
fault would be a change in the law made by the Supreme Court which is where
they abolished objective recklessness as they realised it was unfair and doesn't
consider the level of fault. In the case of Gemmel and Richards it showed injustice of
liability as D did not realise the risk of consequences in this case. However, a negative
would be unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter where the level of fault needed is not
high enough for such a serious crime. As you only need to be reckless as to cause the act
not the death which is unfair.
Gross Negligence Paragraph: When looking at the importance of fault we must
also consider gross negligence. The
standard of fault is set out in the case of Adomako
and was confirmed in Misra . It sets out the D must have been grossly negligent. This
can lead to issues with Juries as some Juries could come up with a different outcome
compared to others in a case with similar facts which can lead to inconsistency i n the
English Law System.
Fault Sets Standards Paragraph:
Fault also helps s
et standards in the
English Law System in 3 things. They are
defences, omissions and sentencing.
In defences, fault can be removed or reduced. In automatism , the D isn't in control of
their actions that led to the consequence which means there was n o fault which is
reflected in the outcome as the D is acquitted. This is fair. In SelfDefence and D uress,
the D's level of fault is excused but not removed as they are partially to blame for the
consequences . This is fair. In intoxication, the Majewski Rules set out the level of fault
for the D as if the D was getting intoxicated voluntarily it can only be used in specific
intent crimes e.g.S18 and Murder as the D would not have the required mens rea.
However , it is not available in crimes where recklessness is sufficient as getting
intoxicated is seen to be reckless. This is fair
as it represents the level of fault being
When looking at omissions , the general rule is that there cannot be any fault or liability
for failing to do something unless you have a duty
that is included in the 5
They are Relationship (Gibbons V Proctor) , Voluntary undertaking of care (Stone and
Dobinson ), Creation of a dangerous situation (Miller), Official duty (Dytham) and
Contractual (Pittwood) . This is fair because you are only l iable if you had a duty to act
and were at fault.
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In sentencing , the level of fault
can be taken into consideration by any aggravating
factors e.g. reoffending being taken into consideration and m aking the sentence worse or
any mitigating factors e.g. first offence being taken into account and making the sentence
more lenient . This is an example of liability being fault based and is fair. However, any
mitigating factors cannot affect the mandatory life sentence for committing murder. This
is unfair as the Judge cannot take into consideration any extenuating circumstances