Legal Duty to Act

For the cases I've included, I've put in some pictures to explain the case rather than write a huge description on each. If you want to find out information about the cases, please refer to my revision notes entitled 'Principles of Criminal Liability Cases' :) Click HERE to be linked straight to them. (They'll pop up in a new window!)

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LEGAL DUTY TO ACT
Comes from the civil law in Donoghue v Stevenson

The criminal courts have identified five situations that impose a
duty on the defendant to act. If he doesn't, this could lead to
prosecution.



DUTY ARISING FROM SPECIFIC RELATIONSHIPS

E.g. parents/guardians have a duty to care for…

Page 2

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DUTY ARISING FROM A PUBLIC OFFICE

A person may incur criminal liability through failure to fulfil his or
her official duties.

R v Dytham




VOLUNTARY ASSUMPTION OF DUTY

If you voluntarily accept responsibility for another, you may be
imposed with a duty to act with regard to that person's welfare.…

Page 3

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If the defendant has created a dangerous situation that creates
a risk to another's life or property, then they are under a duty to
stop or limit the results of the action. If they don't, they may be
liable for the results of the action.

R v Miller



















R v…

Page 4

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As well as the courts, Parliament has created some statutory
situations that impose a duty on the defendant to act.

s. 170 Road Traffic Act 1988

It is an offence for a driver
involved in a road traffic accident to fail
to report the accident to the police.
h


s.…

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