Law Aqa Unit 2 Criminal Liability, Offences Against The Person (Non Fatal), Law Essay

5895 words - 24 pages

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 drove off
· Premeditation is only evidence for intent
· Indirect/oblique intent - 
· this is when something is really obviously likely to happen as a result of the actus reus even if the consequence wasn't intended
· it can be determined by the virtual certainty test 
· for example in the case of R v Hancock & Shankland the miners were throwing rocks to...

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