• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Criminal Law

Extracts from this document...


Criminal Law 1. Vincent, an Afro-Caribbean, was walking home when Kevin, a member of an extreme right-wing group, started shouting racist abuse. Kevin then attacked Vincent and pulled out a knife. Vincent suffered several deep cuts to his face and part of his ear was severed. a. Explain the terms actus reus and mens rea. Using those explanations, outline an appropriate offence with which Kevin might be charged. (15 marks) Actus reus means the guilty act, this is the physical element of a crime, this includes an act, failure to act [an omission]. An omission is when the defendant is under a legal duty to act in a certain way, this may include, a contractual/vocational duty [R v Pittwood], a relationship [R v Stone and Dobinson] or when the defendant creates a situation whereby a duty is imposed [R v Miller]. ...read more.


Direct intention is what the defendant desired whereas oblique intention is when the defendant foresees will almost certainly happen [R v Woolin]. Recklessness, this is the taking of an unjustifiable risk, it is judged by the Subjective test i.e. the defendant should have realised the risk [R. v Cunningham] this is also known as Cunningham recklessness as it was the first case. In certain crimes e.g. murder, s.18 Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and theft it is necessary to show intention. In many cases recklessness will be adequate as the mens rea. In very rare cases negligence may suffice as the mens rea element, negligence is a tort e.g. killing by gross negligence. The general principle in criminal law is that both the actus reus and the mens rea have to coincide. ...read more.


Another argument for strict liability is that it encourages higher standards in such matters as hygiene in processing and selling food. It makes sure that businesses are run properly. One of the main arguments against strict liability is that it makes people who are not blameworthy guilty. Even those people who have taken all possible care will be found guilty and punished. This is what had happened in the case of Harrow London Borough Council v Shah [1999], they had been found guilty even though they had done their best to prevent sales of lottery tickets to anyone under the age of 16. Other arguments are it is contrary to the principle of human rights and that there is no evidence that it improves standards. ?? ?? ?? ?? Habib Mohammed AS Law Stephen Ings ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Criminal Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Criminal Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    English law does not normally impose liability for an omission or failure to act ...

    4 star(s)

    This can be closely linked with the previously mentioned ?good Samaritan? law as their duty of care is extinguished if they inform the fire brigade of the harm. There are some potential avenues for reform that could be considered by the Law Commission.

  2. Human rights in Britain

    another case in which the right to respect of private and family life (Article 8) was the case of Naomi Campbell and Sara Cox, in this case two celebrities claimed that their Human Rights were being breached and successfully stopped media coverage about their personal affairs.

  1. Criminal offences are usually defined in terms of a guilty act (actus reus) and ...

    * The defendants conduct was in law the cause of the harm * There was no intervening act which broke the chain of causation. There are two types of causation, factual causation and legal causation. 'To establish that the defendants behaviour act was, in the particular facts of the case,

  2. List and explain the six most important cases for the law on insanity, explaining ...

    Windle (1952) The third element of the M?Naghten rules is that the defendant must not know the nature and quality of the act. The defendant could know that his act is legally wrong, morally wrong, both morally and legally wrong.

  1. Explain the meaning of Actus reus and mens rea

    is transferred to the actual victim. This was illustrated in R v Latimer where A went to hit B with a belt which recoiled and hit C instead. Latimer?s intent to harm was transferred to C. The actus reus and the mens rea must still coincide so where A plans

  2. Explain what is meant by the term 'causation' in criminal law and assess how ...

    When looking at causation, the Thin Skull Rule should also be considered. This rule states that ?you must take your victim as you find them?. For example, if you strike someone in the face, only intending to hurt them, but instead they die due to a physical condition or abnormality they have, you are still responsible for their death.

  1. Explain what is meant by the term causation in criminal law and assess how ...

    The defendant was not the factual cause of her death she was not guilty of murder but still guilty of attempted murder. Legal causation is closely associated with moral responsibility it looks at blameworthiness (culpability) of the accused. The case of Dalloway can be used to distinguish between factual and legal causation.

  2. The History and Main Features of Criminal Law in the USA.

    They sought to blur the lines between criminal law and civil law by minimizing, or eliminating altogether, the requirement of mensrea.To understand our criminal law, it is necessary to focus on the one characteristic that differentiates it from civil law.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work