I am currently revising for my Criminal law exam in May, and by doing so I am completing some past papers.
I have identified the parties, the various offences and possible defences in which those potential defendants may have. However, I am currently struggling to understand how to merge the actus reus principles (i.e. but for test - White ) with the separate offence actus reus.
The same goes for the mens rea principles and the mens rea for the offence.
Could anyone advise on the way forward?
Criminal law PQ structure watch
- Thread Starter
- 10-04-2013 17:26
- 10-04-2013 23:06
White is the test for but-for (factual) causation. It is therefore only relevant if the offence is a result offence - did the defendant's conduct cause the result? It is totally irrelevant if the offence is a conduct or status offence.
If I poison your orange juice and you die of a heart attack without drinking it then I cannot be guilty of murder because although I intended to kill you (mens rea) and you have died (prohibited result), my act did not cause the result (because you died of a heart attack not from the noxious juice).
If I pick up your orange juice and am on my way out of your house when you stop me then I am guilty of theft (assuming the elements of mens rea are also satisfied) because the actus reus of theft is that I appropriate property belonging to another. White doesn't enter into things at all - we aren't asking whether my conduct caused you to lose your orange juice because that is irrelevant, actual loss to the victim is no part of the definition of the offence.
Give an example of a mens rea question you are stuck on.