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

Law - Unit 3 - Mock Exam Question

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Criminal Law 1. a) The actus reus of a crime is all the elements of the offence committed other than the state of mind of the defendant. If the accused is to be found guilty of a crime, his or her behaviour in committing the actus reus must have been voluntary. In R v Burgess (1991) the defendant was sleep walking when he attacked someone, he was acquitted because it was said his conduct was involuntary. Crimes can be divided into three types depending on the nature of their actus reus. Firstly, a conduct crime is where the defendant will be liable simply by his conduct, the result of the defendant's actions is irrelevant. An example is perjury, where someone makes a false statement whilst under oath, whether the statement affects the outcome of the trial is not important, the offence has still been committed. Secondly, a state of affairs crime is where the defendant will be liable for an offence simply by being in a particular place when the state of affairs has been declared wrong. An example is where someone is in a place they are not allowed to be in. In R v Larsonneur (1933) the defendants permission to be in the United Kingdom had expired. She went to Ireland but was sent back to the United Kingdom when it was discovered that she did not have permission to be in Ireland. ...read more.

Middle

The woman's child died in the fire. Lord Lane CJ highlighted that even if death or grievous bodily harm is not the defendants aim or wish, the jury may infer intent if they decide that death or grievous bodily harm was virtually certain to occur from what the defendants did, and the defendant foresaw that this was the case. This was confirmed by the House of Lords in R v Woollin. Thirdly, subjective recklessness is where a defendant is aware of a risk and takes it where it was unreasonable to do so. In R v Cunningham (1957) the defendant broke a gas meter to steal the money in it, and gas seeped out into the house next door. The woman there was sleeping and became so ill her life was endangered. Cunningham was charged. However the Court of Appeal quashed Cunningham's conviction and laid down a two stage test for establishing whether a defendant can be said to have acted with subjective recklessness. Firstly, did the defendant foresee a risk of harm, if yes; secondly, did he take that risk regardless. To determine whether the risk-taking was unreasonable the courts will balance such factors as the seriousness of the risk and the social value of the defendants conduct. As William Wilson observed 'Jumping a traffic light is likely to be deemed reckless if actuated by a desire to get home quickly for tea but not if the desire was to get a seriously ill person to hospital. ...read more.

Conclusion

Secondly, the cost of precautions: In Latimer v AEC Ltd (1953) bad weather caused a factory to flood. The owners cleaned up as best as they could: sprinkling sawdust down to make it less slippery. Claimant slipped and injured his back. Court decided the factory had taken all reasonable precautions. The only other step they could have taken was to close the factory and lose productions which would be unreasonable. Thirdly, any relevant professional standards: in Nettleship v Western (1971) a learner driver hit a lamppost. The driving instructor badly injured his knee. Court held the defendant was in breach of her duty of care because she failed to drive to a reasonable standard. Fourthly, any social utility connected with the defendants actions: In Watt v Herts. CC (1954) the claimant was a fireman travelling in the back of a vehicle that was carrying heavy lifting equipment to rescue a woman trapped under a bud. The equipment was left unsecured because there was no time to secure it. The claim failed, the social usefulness justified the risk that was taken. Fifthly, any special characteristic of the claimant that the defendant was aware of: in Paris v Stepney Borough Council (1951) a one eyed welder lost his remaining eye welding. Although there was no general duty to provide goggles at the time: the court recognised more care should have been taken of Mr Paris. His disability was known to his employers. Thirdly, the defendant must prove resulting damage. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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)

    One example of this is R v Miller 1983. The defendant had been out drinking for the evening. He went back to the house he had been staying in and fell asleep on a mattress with a lighted cigarette in his hand.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Critical evaluation of murder for A2 law unit 4

    3 star(s)

    it stop being defined by cases and only have to be defined by statute? Can the law on murder not be challenged by cases which think it is incorrect and outdated, only to find it has to go through a long lengthy process to change it.

  1. Looking at the offences of Assault, Battery, Actual bodily harm and Grievous really serious ...

    When the defendant acted he/she must have caused the victims injuries. The victim may have not suffered any of the injuries but for how the defendant acted. Also the defendants act/s must be the operative and substantial cause if the unlawful wounding.

  2. Free essay

    Jury and Magistrate Exam Questions

    All 12 jurors should reach the same verdict, but a majority verdict can be accepted by the judge when all of the juror cannot agree. In this situation at least ten of the jurors have to agree. The jury is independent and should be free from bias.

  1. Law A2 unit 4 murder problem answer plan

    couldn't swim it could be argued that it was highly unforeseeable that Derek would jump in to water knowing full well he may drown and suffer worse injuries than he probably would if he stayed out of the river. Gross negligence manslaughter is to be used where there is no

  2. Explain the meaning of Actus reus and mens rea

    Finally the court will consider whether it is fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty. This focuses on public policy and whether imposing a duty would benefit society or not in that it could be too costly for public services or prevent them from doing their jobs out of fear of being sued.

  1. 'Law should encourage citizens in their civic duty to do "the right thing" in ...

    They are only liable in cases of incompetence, as shown in the case of Adomako, where the defendant, an anaesthetist, failed to realise that one of the tubes supplying oxygen to the patient was disconnected. This resulted in the patient having a heart attack and dying six months later.

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

    He claimed he had been sleepwalking. At his trial, the judge left automatism to the jury, who acquitted him. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld these acquittals. The leading judge said that ?accepting the medical evidence, the respondent?s mind was and its functioning must have been impaired at the relevant time but sleepwalking did not impair it.

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