AQA AS Law (Unit 2) Mens Rea

Goes through definitions of both types of intention, recklessness, coincidence and transferred malice.

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  • Created by: samia
  • Created on: 30-11-14 17:56

What is the distinguishing part of murder s18 and

The mens rea element

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What is direct intention and the relevant case?

Direct intention was defined as "having the aim, desire, purpose ... to bring about the prohibited consequence" in Mohan.

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What is oblique intention and the relevant case?

The consequence was a virtual certainty of the defendants actions. Cases: Woolin, Nedrick

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What is recklessness and the relevant case?

When the defendant knows there is a risk but goes ahead and takes it anyway.

(Cunningham) did the D foresee the harm might occur from his actions but nevertheless continue regardless of the risk?

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What is transferred malice and the relevant cases?

Where the defendant’s men’s rea/intention is directed at one person however is transferred to an unintended victim of the crime.


Pembliton - (no TM) - The victim must be the same as the intended victim (so it can't be a building)

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What are the 2 types of coincidence and the releva

Both the actus reus and mens rea may coincide one after the other as a single continuing act.

AR before MR

Fagan  - D drives onto a police officers foot (actus reus) but doesn’t know he has. The police officer tells him to move the car however he doesn’t (mens rea) Actus reus has continued until contact has ceased.


MR present before AR

Thabo Meli - D beat up the victim, intending to kill him (mens rea) but he doesn’t die. He then threw him over a cliff. The victim survived the beating but died after being thrown off the cliff (actus reus)

Church - D beat V unconscious (mens rea). When he had thought she had died, he threw her body into a river where she drowned (actus reus).

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