Criminal Liability

Actus Reus, Causation, Coincidence of Actus Reus and Mens Rea, Mens Rea, Transfered Malice, Assault, Battery, Section.47, Section.20, and Section.18 Offences against the person act 1861.

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 06-03-10 15:20

Actus Reus

= Guilty Act

1. State of Affairs Crimes

2. Action Crimes

3. Crimes of Omission

4. Result Crimes

1 of 10

1. State of Affairs Crimes

1. Actus Reus is enough to be prosecuted

  • Road Traffic offences
  • Food Hygiene
  • Trade Descriptions
  • Health and Safety
  • Selling alcohol to under 18’s
  • Possession of drugs and offensive weapons
  • Sweet v Parsley - Landlady
  • Gammon v A-G for Hong Kong – collapsed building
  • B v DPP - no mention of MR

Why do have Strict Liability?

Prevent excuses; Save time; Makes the public take more care; Deterrent; Low penalties

Absolute Liability NO DEFENSE R v Larsonneur – Alien

2 of 10

2. Action Crimes

2. Only need the Actus Reus

E.G. Theft - Stealing a purse

Perjury - Lying under oath

* No Result needs to proven

3 of 10

3. Crimes of Omission

3. Actus Reus ommmited through Omission

No General Duty - SIX Circumstances

1. Relationship between two people - R v Gibbons and Pocter - Starved a child

2. Contractual duty - R v Pittwood -gate

3. Caused a dangerous situation - R v Miller - fire

4. Misconduct in public office - R v Naughton - police officer

5. Statute says liability is owed - Road Traffic Act 1988

6. volentarily accepted responsiblity for others - R v Stone and Dobinson - sister

4 of 10

4. Result Crimes

4. End Result must be established - R v White - the end result was not acheived

E.G. Assault; Battery; Section.47; Section.20; Section.18


Factual (BOTH)

  • 'But For Test' - R v White cyanide
  • 'De Minimus test' - pin *****

Legal (ANY)

  • Operating and substantial cause -R v Smith - stabbed, dropped x2, no aid
  • Interviening Act Novus actus interveniens R v Corbett - gutter
  • The Thin Skull Rule - R v Blaue - Jehovah's witness
5 of 10

Co-incidence of Actus Reus

Def. must have both AR and MR, and they must be at the same time.

R v Taaffe - money/drugs

  • Continuing Act Theory - Fagan v MPC - Foot

If the AR is continuing, then the MR can be formed after

  • Transaction Theory - R v Le Brun - row, dragged, banged

when the def. believed one action killed, when it was another

6 of 10

Mens Rea

= Guilty mind

1. Intention

2. Cunningham Recklessness

3. Negligence

7 of 10

Mens Rea - Intention


  • Intented outcome - Rv v White


  • Not desired but inevitable

--- Virtual Certainty Test

Are you virtualy certain that as a result of the def action, death or serious action would occur?

R v Woollin - threw child, didn't realise

8 of 10

Mens Rea - Cunningham Recklessness

R v Cunningham - Broke Gas Metre

Maliciously=Recklessness=Cunningham Recklessness= foresaw the consequences, but went ahead anyway

Assault - Recklessly put someone in fear of imeadiate force

Battery - Reckless about applying force

Section. 47 - Mens rea for Assault or Battery

Section.20 - Reckless about causing harm

9 of 10

Transfered Malice

Def means to slap X, but X ducks and D slaps Y instead.

R v Mitchell - post office, manslaughter

Attorney General's Reference - pregnant girlfriend, death of premature baby, in exisistance

R v Pembleton - window

10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all Criminal law resources »