Actus Reus

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1. What is a novus actus interviens?

  • The D can not be guilty for failing to act - Miller.
  • An intervening act that makes the chain of causation, such as act of 3rd party, victims own act and natural but predictable event.
  • An interviening act that breaks the chain of causation, such as act of 3rd party, victims own actions and natural but unpredictable event.
  • Leave the victim as you find them - R v Blaue.
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2. What is an act of a 3rd party?

  • Usually comes from medical negligence, however, it is unlikely to break the chain unless it is so patent in causing death that D's acts are insignificant - R v Smith
  • Where the act is of the victim, the chain of causation will not be broken unless the victim's actions are disproportionate or unreasonable in the circumstances - Roberts/Williams

3. What are the 5 exceptions to the general rule of omissions with cases

  • Contractual duty - Pitwood, Because of a relationship - Gibbins v Proctor, Taken on voluntarily - Stone v Dobinson, Official position - Miller, set in motion a series of events - Dytham
  • A contractual duty - Pitwood, Because of a relationship - Gibbins and Proctor, Taken on voluntarily - Stone and Dobinson, Official position - Dytham, set in motion a series of events - Miller
  • Contractual duty - Pitwood, Because of a relationship - Stone and Dobinson, Taken on voluntarily - Gibbins and Proctos, Official position - Dytham, set in motion a series of events - Miller
  • Contractual duty - Pitwood, Because of a relationship - Gibbins v Proctor, Taken on voluntarily - Stone v Dobinson, Official position - Dytham, set in motion a series of events - Miller

4. What is the thin skull rule?

  • Take your victim as you find him - R v Blaue, R v Hayward.
  • Leave your victim the same way - R v Brown, R v Haywire.

5. What is a voluntary act?

  • Hill v Baxter - if D has committed the act or omission voluntarily, they do not have the mens rea.
  • Hill v Baxter - if the D has not committed the act or omission voluntarily, he has not committed the actus reus at all.
  • Collins v Wilcock - if D has committed the act or omission voluntarily they can not have the mens rea.

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