Law 02 revision essays part1

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  • Created by: abic1
  • Created on: 20-05-18 10:51

Explain the meaning of MENS REA

Latin term for guilty mind
Committed either intentionally or recklessly

Intention is split into 2- direct and indirect
Direct intention- main purpose was to bring about consequence (MOHAN)
Indirect Intention- one purpose in mind, consequence was different (WOOLIN)
WOOLIN test- 1. Was death or GBH virtually certain? 2. Did defendant appreciate this? Yes = jury can infer intention

Recklessness defined in CUNNINGHAM
Sees a risk of consequence, take it anyway
Not guilty if didn’t see risks involved

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Explain CAUSATION

Establishes if defendant committed actus reus of offence
Must be factual and legal cause of consequence

Factual cause- but for test (BLAUE)
But for defendant’s actions, would the consequence be the same?
No = factual cause, Yes = not factual cause

Legal cause- chain of causation, connects act to consequence
Broken by substantial and significantly independant acts (JORDAN)
Medical treatment- wounds still operating = not broken (SMITH)

  • wounds healed = broken (CHESHIRE)
  • palpably wrong treatment = broken (JORDAN)
    Victim themselves- actions reasonably foreseeable = not broken (ROBERTS)
  • actions not reasonably foreseeable = broken (WILLIAMS)
    Third party- actions reasonably foreseeable = not broken (PAGGETT)
    actions not reasonably foreseeable = broken
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Explain OMISSIONS

Omission = failing to act
General principle of English law can’t be guilty by omission
6 exceptions
1. Statute lays it down- not wearing a seatbelt = guilty by omission (ROAD TRAFFICS ACT)
2. Duty under contract- didn’t check oxygen = GNM by omission (ADOMAKO)
3. Status or position- police didn’t stop fight = GNM by omission (DYTHAM)
4. Voluntary assumed responsibility- didn’t do what said they would = guilty by omission (INSTAN)
5. Duty because relationship- didn’t feed daughter = guilty by omission (PROCTOR)
6. Dangerous situation- caused and failed to put right = arson by omission (MILLER)

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Explain STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCES

Prosecution only have to prove actus reus was committed
No need for mens rea
Must be guilty beyond all reasonable doubt

Regulatory offence, matter of social concern (SMEDLEYS v BREED)
Encourage compliance with the law, prevents defences being used (SHAH SHAH)
Quick and easy to prove in court

Presumption of mens rea is strong for “truly criminal” offences
If no mens rea necessary, statute must exclude it
Only apply if encourages greater vigilance to prevent prohibited act
GAMMON test decides if strict liability or not

If statute uses intent or recklessness, not strict liability offence

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Explain COINCIDENCE RULE

The actus reus and mens rea for an offence must occur at the same time
Stops unrelated events ring linked to create crime someone is clearly innocent of

2 exceptions made so there is a conviction when defendant is truly guilty

Continuing act theory- actus reus was committed accidentally, without mens rea. Mens rea later developed whilst actus reus was on going, guilty as both elements present at same time (FAGAN)

Series of acts- linked acts or omissions combine actus reus and mens rea together as one transaction to find defendant guilty (THABO MELI)

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Explain ACTUS REUS

Latin term for guilty action
Can be a voluntary act, omission or state of affairs

Involuntary act = no mens rea (HILL v BAXTER) = no offence (WHOOLEY)

Omission- general principle of English law cannot be guilty by failure to act, are exceptions where failure to act = guilty:
1. Statute lays it down (ROAD TRAFFICS ACT)
2. Duty under contract (ADOMAKO)
3. Status or position (DYTHAM)

State of affairs- prosecution only had to prove defendant in wrong place to be guilty of drunk in public place (WINZAR)

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Explain TRANSFERRED MALICE

Mens rea for one person transferred to marry up with actus reus committed on the actual victim
Only operates where it is same type of offence defendant wishes to commit, if different, transferred malice doesn’t apply (PEMBLITON)

Can transfer person to person, or object to object (LATIMER)
Can’t transfer person to object, or object to person

Prosecution only have to prove mens rea for offence on victim 1
Mens rea is automatically transferred to victim 2

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