Types of Actus Reus

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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ACTUS REUS
ACTUS REUS = the physical element of
the crime.
The general rule is that the defendant's act
or omission should be voluntary. (However,
this is not always the case.)

Involuntary behaviour could include
automatism (where the defendant was not
aware of their actions when making particular
illegal movements)…

Page 2

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TYPES OF ACTUS REUS
Consequence/Result Crime

Describes the majority of crimes
Where the defendant has committed a voluntary act or
omission
Must be a recognisable outcome
E.g. s.1 Offences Against the Person Act 1861 covers
wounding with intent ­ all layers of the skin must be broken
E.g. murder ­…

Page 3

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The actus reus is the prohibited conduct
No harm or consequence of the prohibited
conduct need be established
E.g. perjury ­ defendant is guilty if they lie
under oath in court. It doesn't matter whether
the lie was actually taken into account in the
case
E.g. theft ­ the actus…

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