• 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)

    is being entered in accordance with our revised quotation ...". The Court of Appeal had to decide on which set of terms the contract was made. Lord Denning M.R. stated: In many of these cases our traditional analysis of offer, counter-offer, rejection, acceptance and so forth is out-of-date.

  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. Four ways in which a contract may be discharged.

    Only the existence of the clause needs to be notified - not necessarily the details of it content. Whether reasonable notice had been given depends upon the facts of each case. Thompson v LMS Railway Co [1930] 1 KB 41.

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

    states that a person is not dishonest if the owner can not be discovered by taking reasonable steps. Clearly this leaves the courts to develop an approach to the wide-interpretation of dishonesty as it only eliminates three factors from the possible range of section 2.

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

    Neither of could withdrew from the contract with out the consent of the other, otherwise they will be in breach of the contract. Both of these considerations are provided at the time when the promise is given so it can not be in the past.

  2. health and safety legislation and regulation

    the company by finance it will also affect the company by the speed of production because there won't be enough works to do the job on time and they can't find someone straight away. It will take time to employee a new staff and give training and they need to

  1. In advising Bennys position of the interest over the said property (the flat), it ...

    Admittedly, there are certain kinds of financial contributions to qualify Benny's beneficial interest as: (1) direct contribution towards the purchase price of property8 and (2) less direct contribution9. As if Benny wishes to establish presumption to resulting trust, he ought to take the views to the followings: - 1.

  2. Case Analysis: Christine Brooks v. Cooke County Hospital District

    As public policy is a matter of common law, it varies from state to state. Most public policy exceptions fall into one or more of four broad categories as follows: (1) refusing to perform an illegal act, (2) reporting illegal activity, (3)

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