Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Criminal Law Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Criminal Law - Assignment Example The guilty act/omission of the defendant must be the factual and legal cause of the death. To establish factual causation, the court in White1 established the ‘but for’ test: but for the defendant’s act, would the victim have suffered harm? If the answer is negative, factual causation is established. Legal causation requires that the death be attributable to a culpable act. However, the culpable act does not have to be the only cause. In Benge2, it was held that it is sufficient if it was more than minimal. However, some contributing acts may excuse the defendant from liability. If subsequent acts occur to break the chain of causation, the accused is not liable in law. Nevertheless, regardless of such intervening acts, where the acts of the accused remain the substantial and operative factors of the death, the defendant is not excused from culpability. This was established in the case of Smith3. Actus reus must be accompanied by mens rea. For the crime of murder, it must be proved that the accused had ‘malice aforethought’.4 That is, the accused had the intention to cause the unlawful death. Section 18 of the Offences Against the Person 1861 requires that the accused wounded or caused grievous bodily harm with intent to do some grievous bodily harm. In Mohan,5 the court held that foresight of death or injury was not tantamount to an intention. The test to establish presence of intention was laid by the house of the Lords in Nedrick.6 The court stated that the defendant must recognize that death or serious injury is virtually certain to result from his conduct. Additionally, the House of Lords decision in Woollin7 concluded that the jury could only infer intention when satisfied that death was virtually certain from the defendant’s conduct, and that the defendant appreciated this fact. Gerald will be charged with the crime of murder of Victoria. But for his conduct to hide Victoria in a secret air-tight compartment, she would not have died. His act

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