army1234
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What is a ''operating cause'' in criminal law?
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sebek369
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(Original post by army1234)
What is a ''operating cause'' in criminal law?
Thank you!
It just means that the effect of the defendant's actions resulted in the death without a novus actus interveniens.
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army1234
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(Original post by sebek369)
It just means that the effect of the defendant's actions resulted in the death without a novus actus interveniens.
I did not understand your answer. Can you explain more?
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swagyolo420
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(Original post by army1234)
I did not understand your answer. Can you explain more?
If somebody stabs somebody, they die because of that wound. The wound was an operating cause (still significant)


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sebek369
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(Original post by army1234)
I did not understand your answer. Can you explain more?
A novus actus interveniens is a "new acting intervening" - this breaks the chain of causation.

In the case of Cheshire, poor medical treatment didn't break the chain of causation as the defendant's actions were the significant cause of death. By contrast, in Jordan, the victim's wound had virtually healed and was no longer life threatening, thus the defendant was not guilty as the chain was broken by virtue of the poor medical treatment.

In essence, if someone or something merely exacerbates an injury, the chain of causation is not broken whereas if a new wound is created, the chain of causation is broken through a novus actus interveniens.

If the defendant's action is the "operating and substantial cause" of the death - there is said to be no intervening act.
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army1234
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(Original post by sebek369)
A novus actus interveniens is a "new acting intervening" - this breaks the chain of causation.

In the case of Cheshire, poor medical treatment didn't break the chain of causation as the defendant's actions were the significant cause of death. By contrast, in Jordan, the victim's wound had virtually healed and was no longer life threatening, thus the defendant was not guilty as the chain was broken by virtue of the poor medical treatment.

In essence, if someone or something merely exacerbates an injury, the chain of causation is not broken whereas if a new wound is created, the chain of causation is broken through a novus actus interveniens.

If the defendant's action is the "operating and substantial cause" of the death - there is said to be no intervening act.
How can I know if the cause is ''operating''? What is the meaning of ''operating'' ?
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callum_law
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(Original post by army1234)
How can I know if the cause is ''operating''? What is the meaning of ''operating'' ?
The meaning is that nothing happens which stops the defendant from being responsible.

D stabs Victim ------------------> Victim dies. Nothing happens between stabbing and death which would stop D being responsible. D's stabbing is operating.

D stabs Victim ------- V's wounds heal but docs f*ck up ------> V dies. Something happens in between stabbing and death which stops D being responsible. D's stabbing not operating.
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sebek369
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(Original post by army1234)
How can I know if the cause is ''operating''? What is the meaning of ''operating'' ?
It's an operating cause where there is no break in the chain of causation..

If I punch you and you're taken in an ambulance, then the ambulance crashes and you die, I wouldn't be guilty. Why? because the punch wasn't going to kill you. It was the crash, therefore, the chain of causation is broken.. and my act wouldn't be the operating cause of death.
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army1234
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(Original post by sebek369)
It's an operating cause where there is no break in the chain of causation..

If I punch you and you're taken in an ambulance, then the ambulance crashes and you die, I wouldn't be guilty. Why? because the punch wasn't going to kill you. It was the crash, therefore, the chain of causation is broken.. and my act wouldn't be the operating cause of death.
I understand. Thank you all for your help
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swagyolo420
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(Original post by caroline brady)
Betty stabbed Georgina with a butter knife during a heated argument. Georgina called for the ambulance but they took an hour to arrive because they had lost their way.

At the hospital Georgina underwent surgery to remove the butter knife. She was expected to recover but died a few hours later. It was found that the doctors who performed the surgery had left a surgery knife in Georgina's abdomen. The sharp knife cut the inner walls of Betty's abdomen and she suffered excessive internal bleeding.

Advise Betty, the ambulance drivers and the doctors of their criminal liability if any.

How would you answer this bearing in mind that there are two types of causes in causation? Factual cause and legal cause.
1) Which one do you need to consider first?
2) Under what circumstances do you proceed to the second cause?
3) What are the key questions one must ask when writing out an answer for such a question above?
I would answer factual first, using but for test, legal next

I don't understand what you mean by 2nd cause?

You need to use cases to link to factual and legal causation of the scenario in question

Factual: pagett: but for D using V as a human shield, v wouldn't have been shot by police
"White" is also good because it shows How important the facts are as in this case D tried to poison V but didn't use enough poison and so factually wasn't responsible for V later dying of a heart attack.
You then look at these cases and look at the Betty case and apply them

Legal: "Kimsey" this case says there must be more than a slight or trifling link between Ds act and the consequence again apply to Betty, the driver and doctors

Message me if you need any help


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yastyb
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Although Contract is what I do I think -legal or factual causes notwithstanding- that you should look at Jordan when dealing with the doctor. I think the court in that case used the phrase 'palpably wrong' to describe an act which would break the chain of causation in medical interventions. Doctors are generally not held accountable for mistakes done, under the context of criminal causation, when attempting to fix the wrong done. In this case however, the girl was to recover and it could be deduced that no ordinary competent doctor would make a mistake of this nature and that it was in fact palpably wrong. The doctor must be charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

The girl gets off the hook if the chain of causation had been broken by the doctor, which I think it has.

The ambulance's lateness does not constitute an intervening act. (Look for a case which specifically makes mention of ambulances, It's on the tip of my tongue but I can't seem to remember it.)

Alternatively, I'd suggest you read William Wilson's textbook, the section on causation. He's as good at explaining things in his book as he his in lectures! It might help you out!
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User1214833
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(Original post by caroline brady)
terrible answer.
Are you trolling or just rude?
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callum_law
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(Original post by caroline brady)
i am not even doing criminal law.
That much is evident, Cazza. You're an AS student telling someone who has a law degree from a prestigious university that their legal answer is terrible. You are either trolling or you are rude and clueless.
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callum_law
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(Original post by caroline brady)
I am trying to discern where in your post contains an inkling of the answer we are all looking for. could you point us to the right direction? moreover surely all your rep should count for something no?
Don't get hung up on the rep. I also have 3 badges of varying levels.
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callum_law
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(Original post by caroline brady)
ic. so not only does your rep count for nothing but so do your badges too. now could you please stick to the focus of the thread? if you do not have the answers we are looking for then please proceed with your other activities. thank you for your kind understanding.
Going all out for the troll here, bud. Need to tone it down a bit if you want to ensure success.
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User1214833
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Betty must be hella strong to stab someone with a butter knife
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Mimir
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(Original post by historycrisis)
Can some help me with the question "What are the challenges of applying the principles of causation?" Any help would be great, thanks!!!
Sure, but how have you gone about answering the question first? What do you think is the answer?
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