AS Law Unit 2

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  • Created by: Rachel
  • Created on: 24-04-13 19:41

Let me know if I've gone wrong somewhere or missed anything! Cases aren't fully detailed. Sorry in advance for any spelling errors and stuff.. Let me know if this was helpful at all :)

Criminal Liability
Actus Reus
Mens Rea
Strict Liability
Transferred Malice
Offences Against the person (non fatal): 
GBH s.20 and s.18
Reasons for Sentencing
Mitigating & Aggravating Factors
Tort of Negligence
Res Ipsa Loquitur



Criminal Liability

To prove someone is guilty of committing a crime the prosecution have to establish 'beyond reasonable doubt' that:

  • the accused committed the criminal act: Actus Reus
  • they has the required state of mind: Mens Rea

Actus Reus

  • The physical element of a crime.
  • Each crime has it's own actus reus for example the actus reus for murder is the unlawful killing of a human being.
  • It must be a voluntary act, so under the control of the defendant. This came from the case of Hill v Baxter
  • If the crime has been committed under duress (threat of serious violence or death) it's not an actus reus.
  • An actus reus can also be an omission which is the failure to act when the law imposes a duty to do so.
  • In the UK there is no 'good samaritan' law that requires people to rescue others although some statutes make some omissions criminal offences such as wearing seat belts
  •  the following 'duties' are recognised as omissions:
    • Contractual duty as in R v Pitwood
    • Where the defendant has an official position such as the off duty police officer who failed to stop a fatal attack on a victim in R v Dytham
    • When the defendant created a dangerous situation and did nothing about it in R v Miller who could have tried to stop the fire he started or called the fir brigade.
    • When the defendant assumed responsibility to look after someone in R v Stone & Dobinson
    • When there is a duty through relationship in R v Gibbins & Proctor  (legislation: Children and Young Persons Act 1933)
    • An example where an omission is acceptable in the case of R v Bland when the doctor turned off the life support machine
  • An actus reus can occur when it is in the circumstances of the crime (usually strict liability offences)
    • R v Larsonneur
    • R v Winzar

Mens Rea

  • Mens rea is the mental element or 'guilty mind' of a crime that typically occurs at the same time as an actus reus.
  • Mens rea is not a criminal offence by itself.
  • Each actus reus has its own mens rea, for example intent to kill or intent to deprive.
  • There are two types of mens rea, intent and recklessness.
  • Intent:
    • Direct intent -
      • when an action takes place that was planned or desired as an outcome
      • an example for this is the case of R v Mohan was pulled over by a police officer then ran him over and…



Thank you!! =D


Thank you 

Matthew W

Very helpful, much appreciated!


Cheers, really useful!


Ho, ho, marvellous...


Awww thanks guys! Good luck for the exam tomorrow! :)


Really useful, thank you !!!


THIS IS A LIFE SAVER!!! I have my exam tommorow morning and just started revising TORT today! Without this I would have been lost! Thanks!!

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