AS Law - Actus Reus

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  • Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 05-02-11 12:57

The actus reus must be present in order for the D to be responsible for the crime in question. In R v Deller the actus reus was not present so the D was not guilty.

Actus reus can be divided into two categories: conduct and result crimes. Conduct crimes do not require a consequence/harm; the person simply needs to perform the forbidden act, e.g. omitting to wear a seatbelt (Road Traffic Act 1981). Whereas result crimes require proof that the conduct caused a prohibited consequence, e.g. S.47 of the OAPA 1861, which requires ABH to be caused.

Actus reus must be voluntary if the D is to incur liability. In a case of automatism, the D is not guilty because their act/omission was not voluntary. Hill v Baxter gave a hypothetical example of this…

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