A more recent version of these Actus Reus notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Actus Reus _______________________________________________________
? Conduct crimes (voluntary muscular movement which is criminal i.e. rape)
? Crimes of omission (failure to act is criminal i.e. child neglect)
? Result crimes (the result of an act/omission is criminal i.e. murder)
? State of affairs (state of being is criminal i.e. driving without a licence) Actus reus must be voluntarily brought about for all crimes - of course mens rea will usually not be present if an action wasn't voluntary, however even strict liability crimes need to prove voluntary action.
Crimes of Omissions General rule: no liability for omissions, even where life is in danger, except where there is a duty to act Airedale NHS v Bland Hillsborough V in vegetative state - hospital applied for declaration of legal termination of life support Held: declaration granted as although there was an intention to cause death, this was an omission which would only be criminal if there were a duty to act. Doctors' duties are based on the best interests of the patient Duties to act:Contractual duties R v Pittwood D employed to operate level crossing and forgot to put the gate down. A train collided with a cart killing train driver Held: failure to perform contractual duty to act meant liability was foundStatutory duties Road Traffic Act: duty of driver to stop & report accidentsParental duties R v Gibbins and Proctor Father & stepmother, Edith, failed to feed daughter who died
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our GDL Criminal Law Notes.