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

Definitions of Actus reus, mens rea & strict liability

Extracts from this document...


Definitions of: Actus Reus \ Mens Rea \ Strict Liability: Actus Reus Actus Reus is the physical element of a crime (guilty act), in criminal cases the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant committed an Actus Reus and had the Mens Rea (guilty mind) at the same time. An Actus Reus consist more than just a crime, it also has of whatever circumstances and consequences are required for the offence in question. The crimes can be divided into two categories: The first category is the conduct crime where the Actus Reus is the prohibited act itself, for example the Actus Reus of the offence dangerous driving is ''driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public places (S2 RTA 1988), no harm or consequence of that dangerous driving needs to be established. Another example is blackmailing. The second category is the result crimes, those are where Actus Reus is defined in terms of prohibited consequences, irrespective of these are brought about, for example causing death (murder) ...read more.


These crimes are defined not in the sense of the defendant doing a positive act but consisting in the defendant "being found", "being in possession" or "being in charge'', in cases all the prosecution needs to prove are the existence of the factual circumstances which constitute the crime, I.E R v Larsonneur 1993 Causation The prosecution must prove that it was the defendant's conduct which caused that result to happen, for example in murder the prosecution must prove that the victim died, in S18 of the Offences Against the Person Act (OAPA) 1861 the victim was wounded or caused GBH and in criminal damage the property was destroyed or damaged. There are to types of causation: 1- Causation in fact - for which the ''but for'' Test is used. Cases >> R v Pagett, R v White. 2- Causation in law - where more than one factor contributed to the consequence (R v Smith). Medical treatment does not usually break the chains, one exception is the case of R v Jordan. Mens Rea Mens Rea is the mental element of a crime, the guilty state of mind. ...read more.


Mens Rea can't be transferred for a different Actus Reus as shown by Pembliton, where the defendant threw a stone at another person during an argument, but the stone missed the intended victim, instead it broke a nearby window. Strict Liability Strict liability are those crimes where the defendant will be find guilty because he did the Actus Reus, there is not Mens Rea needed. An example of this is the case of Winzar v Chief Constable for Kent, this was where the police were called the remove a drunken man from a hospital. Many Strict liability offences are not truly criminal behaviour but they are treated as offences so as to prevent potential danger to public Health & Safety, I.E causing pollution, driving a vehicle with dangerous brakes or selling contaminated food, these come under the same heading. Some offences which can be punished by imprisonment are not strict liability offences, because that is unfair to put people in prison when they don't have the intention of committing a crime, but some crimes which do carry a possible penalty of imprisonment are strict liability offences, I.E the case of Pharmaceutical Society of Great Brittain v Storkwain. Ferough Hamed. ...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 Law of Contract 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 Law of Contract essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Contract Law - Offer And Acceptance

    3 star(s)

    This was observed by Lord Wilberforce in New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd v AM Satterthwaite. The better way is to look at all the documents passing between the parties and glean from them, or from the conduct of the parties, whether they have reached agreement on all material points, even

  2. e-commerce legal issues

    Intention is another important element for creating a binding contract, but in the context of electronic commerce, which typically involves commercial contracts, intent will normally automatically exist. Once the contract is validly formed, both parties are bound to perform their contractual obligations.

  1. health and safety legislation and regulation

    This risk assessment can also be used by the health and safety executive to calculate the statistics and by doing the statistic they can improve the control measures or they can invent or place a new control measure. This risk assessment is an ongoing process which I mean if you

  2. Write a critical evaluation of the elements of any two property offences

    Lord Hobhouse dissenting on this judgement favours the case of R v Mazo (1996) where the gift was valid and appropriation did not take place. Professor Smith regarding Hinks stated, "The decision leaves the law failing to perform a basic function of identifying with precision what constitutes to be the actus reus of theft."

  1. Discuss the role of hardship clauses in controlling liability by contract.

    Such renegotiation mechanism will benefit the supplier in that it will provide him with protection from the risk of increased cost which under a fixed price contract he would otherwise have to bear himself. The mechanism should also appeal the buyer since it will give him increased assurance of a predicable source of supply for a long time.

  2. Four ways in which a contract may be discharged.

    The claimant sued for breach because the defendant had failed to transport the rig in the agreed manner. The Effects of the Doctrine of Frustration. At common law, the contract was terminated automatically and immediately and both parties were then released from their future obligations.

  1. I have been asked to advise a client on considering contracting with a building ...

    Lapse of time An offer may be expressed to last for a certain period of time but if there is no express time limit set, it expires after a reasonable time. What is a reasonable time depends on the circumstances of the case.

  2. Several tests have been developed to identify and categorise different types of workers.

    The leading case on this is Ready Mixed Concrete (South East) Ltd v MPNI. MacKenna J held that there were three conditions necessary to establish that a contract of service existed. The first was that the worker was to provide this own work and skill in the performance of a service for his employer.

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