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Causal Relationship Analysis of Actus Reus and Mens Rea - Research Paper Example

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The paper "Causal Relationship Analysis of Actus Reus and Mens Rea " highlights that the mens rea is that of murder which has clearly not been established on the facts and thus even if such is proved then reliance can be placed on the aforementioned defences…
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Causal Relationship Analysis of Actus Reus and Mens Rea
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Download file to see previous pages It is important to bear in mind that criminal liability would accrue if the offence is proved beyond reasonable doubt and the burden of proof vests with the prosecution. An important principle that is also laid down is that the actus reus and mens rea of the offence must coincide, however, the courts have adopted a broad approach in respect of the same. (Clarkson et al, 2010) In respect of proving an offence, the requirement is that of actus reus, mens rea and the absence of any defence (Lord Diplock in R v Miller).  There has been an important requirement that actus reus and mens rea need to coincide, however it is pertinent to mention that the said requirement has been interpreted broadly. (Fagan v. Commissioner of Police). A situation where it was found that the actus reus and mens rea had coincided was that the conduct of the defendant created a situation of danger (R v. Miller).  (Oremond et al, 2011) The actus reus of an offence is usually satisfied when a positive act is committed. There has often been the requirement that the act that has been committed must be voluntary, as was defined by Lord Denning that ‘No act is punishable if it is done involuntarily, and an involuntary act in this context...means an act which is done by the muscles without any control by the mind such as spasm, a reflex action or a convulsion; or an act done by a person who is not conscious of what he is doing such as an act done whilst suffering from concussion or whilst sleepwalking...’ (Bratty v Attorney General for Northern Ireland). Thus the act of the defendant must, therefore, be voluntary and a wilful movement of a body. (Simester et al 2009). The second element is that of mens rea which deals with the state of mind of the accused. The criteria for mens rea has been developed and is ongoing for a number of years and the cases that were decided upon taking into consideration the intention, subjective recklessness, objective recklessness, lacuna etc. (Simester et al 2009)....Download file to see next pagesRead More
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