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Mens rea & actus reus watch

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    Does anyone have any revision notes on actus reus and mens rea?

    Just need some further clarification on them both...

    Any other criminal law related notes would be handy too.

    Thank-you!
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    (Original post by kylekmiles)
    Does anyone have any revision notes on actus reus and mens rea?

    Just need some further clarification on them both...

    Any other criminal law related notes would be handy too.

    Thank-you!
    What are you looking for?

    I can type up the revision booklet I have if you want? I found it pretty helpful.
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    Have you got Criminal law book by Clare mcdiarmid? It's really worth the money. I do have some notes in my Class handbook I can type up for you. Pm me and let me know .
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    (Original post by S129439)
    What are you looking for?

    I can type up the revision booklet I have if you want? I found it pretty helpful.

    I've conducted some independent study on actus reus, and I think I'm alright with that now.

    If you wouldn't mind, an overview on mens rea would be helpful, with a case list to supplement my own, if you wouldn't mind?

    Thank-you very much,

    Kyle
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    (Original post by kylekmiles)
    I've conducted some independent study on actus reus, and I think I'm alright with that now.

    If you wouldn't mind, an overview on mens rea would be helpful, with a case list to supplement my own, if you wouldn't mind?

    Thank-you very much,

    Kyle
    This is my syllabus, AQA Law AS. Presuming this is what you want...? If not then ignore....

    MENS REA

    • The Mental Element - The state of mind of the defendant required by the law at the time of the actus reus. * - One exception towards the bottom.
    • There are two types of mens rea; both tested subjectively (i.e by determining what D knew and was thinking). These are Intention and recklessness.
    • Intention
      - Direct Intention - Where D desired the consequences of their act - Case: Calhaem (D was a hired hitman who killed someone)
      - Oblique Intention - When the question of intention is more difficult to establish (because D often hides feelings/emotions in court). The judge advises the jury that they are entitled to find D guilty if the answer to the following question is "yes"; 'Did the defendant foresee the victims harm as a virtual certainty?' - Case: Woollin (In temper, D threw a baby towards a pram but missed and the baby hit a wall and died. Court found that the defendant did 'forsee the harm (in this case the death of the baby) as a virtual certainty')
    • Recklessness
      - This involves taking an unjustified risk.
      - Recklessness is decided subjectively by determining what D himself was thinking at the time of the actus reus.
      - If the court finds the answer to the following question as 'yes', then mens rea is satisfied by recklessness; 'Did the defendant forsee the risk of harm but carry on regardless.' - Case: Cunningham ( D broke into a gas meter that poisoned a resident of the house. Court found that D did 'forsee the risk of harm (in this case poisoning) but carried on regardless'.



      That is the basic part of mens rea, but there are further parts...
    • Transferred Malice
      - Principle which operates to find D guilty if he intended, or was reckless in causing harm to a person, but by accident injured a different, unintended person instead.
      - This principle transfers the mens rea from the intended victim to the actual victim - Case: Latimer (D swung a a belt at the intended victim but missed and hit the actual victim by accident. D was guilty because transferred malice was applied).
      - This only applies if the actual harm/damage was of the same type as the one intended. - Case: Pembilton (D threw a stone at intended victim (battery), but missed and smashed a window. Court found that personal injury and criminal damage are not of the same type, and so transferred malice didn't apply.)
    • Coincidence of Actus Reus and Mens Rea
      - Contemporanity rule: In criminal law, the Actus reus and Mens rea must occur together. Some situations are exceptions though * ,(star from the top)
      - The continuing act: Where the actus reus occurs without the mens rea, but momentarily afterwards develops the mens rea while the actus reus is still ongoing. - Case: Fagan v Metropolitan Police Commissioner ( D accidentally drove onto a police officers foot, but when the police officer told him to get off, D refused. Court held that the actus reus (the driving onto V's foot) continued, and the mens rea (the desire for the actus reus to occur) was formed while the actus reus was ongoing. D was guilty.
    • Strict Liability
      - Some exceptional offences where no mens rea is needed. In others words, you only need the actus reus to be found guilty.
      - They are justified for these reasons:
    • They are not 'truly criminal' in nature in that they do not have social stigma attached and are not overly serious. - Case: Lord Scarman (not a case in itself, just a judges ruling)
    • Occur too frequently. The courts could not cope if these offences were to be regularly defended in court.
    • Promote care. People are more careful because they know they will be guilty. eg. Selling alcohol to under 18's.

      - Examples
    • Parking offences
    • Food safety laws
    • Sale of goods to underage children. - Case: LB Harrow v Shaw ( D sold a lottery ticket to an under eighteen unknowingly. Actus reus was satisfied, and no mens rea was needed so D was guilty)

      - Presumption of mens rea
      - There is a problem that statutes creating offences often do not say explicitly if a mens rea is required or whether the offence is strict liability. There are guidelines in place to help judges solve this problem:
    • Presumption of mens rea: Judge must presume a mens rea is needed for all criminal offences. - Case: Sweet v Parsley ( D was a landlord who was unaware that tenants were smoking cannabis. Court held that this offence was 'truly criminal' - (Lord Scarman), and so should need a mens rea.
    • Gammon Guidelines: In the case of Gammon v Attorney General of Hong Kong, guidelines for working out whether an offence is strict liability or not were set out:
      - Crime is a regulatory (less serious) offence
      - The wording of the act (interpret the wording)
      - The lower the penalty, the more likely it is to be strict liability.
      - The statute in which the offence is created is dealing with an issue of social concern - for example illegal drugs, as above in Sweet v Parsley






 
 
 
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