As Law Paer 2 Model Answers Essay

1229 Words May 14th, 2016 5 Pages

Define the actus reus of a crime (7 mins)

The actus reus is the physical and external part of a crime. It means the guilty act. The actus reus must be a positive and voluntary act as illustrated in the case of Hill vs Baxter. In this case the judge said that driving whilst fighting off a swarm of bees would prevent the act from being voluntary, therefore preventing the actus reus from being satisfied. If the actus reus of a crime is not satisfied the defendant can never be found guilty.

However there are six situations where a failure to act (omission) will satisfy the actus reus of a crime. These are exceptions to the rule in Hill v Baxter that the act committed must be positive. A person will have a duty to
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Two types of causation must be established for the defendant to be guilty of a crime; these are factual and legal causation. If there are both, then causation is established.

In order for factual causation to be established the “but for” test is used, the prosecution must prove that “but for” (if you take away) the defendants act, the consequence would not have happened. This is illustrated in White and Pagett. In White there was no factual causation for murder because his act did not cause his mother’s death, because she would have died without his act. In Pagett, there was factual causation because the victim would not have died, if he hadn’t used her as a human shield.

Legal causation limits who is to blame using a “chain of causation”, this can be broken by an intervening act, which means that the defendant’s act was not a substantial and operating cause of the consequence (Jordan). The effect of this is that the defendant will not be guilty. The victims own act, the act of another and an unforeseeable event can constitute an intervening act to break the chain, but will not always do so where the defendant’s conduct was still the substantial cause. In Dear, the victim committed suicide following the defendant’s attack however, the chain was not broken by the victim’s own act because the attack was a substantial cause of the suicide.

In Roberts and Williams the victim’s both jumped from a moving car, sustaining

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