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Actus Reus and Men's Rea

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Submitted By Sumanahmed12
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Throughout this essay I will be discussing in turn the actus reus and the mens rea, and the different factors that must be considered when trying to determine these elements of a crime. It is accurate in saying that two elements must be present, the actus reus and the mens rea when trying to determine whether someone is guilty of an offence, but you can not just take these words simply as they are. The actus reus can consist of more then just an act. In many circumstances, an omission can be just as serious, and it must be established at the very beginning whether it is an act or an omission you are dealing with. Causation must also be proved for the defendant to be liable for the consequences.

The literal meaning of mens rea, 'a guilty mind' is also somewhat misleading. Other factors that are to be considered whilst discussing the above statement include the dynamics that constitute the necessary mens rea; whether the defendant had the intention of the consequences, and/or whether they acted recklessly (either Cunningham and Caldwell recklessness.) I will also be looking at strict liability cases, which is the one circumstance in which the defendant can be found guilty without the necessary mens rea.

What ever the offence is at hand, the prosecution must establish every part of the actus reus, and it is crucial that these elements are strictly proved. In order for the defendant to be found guilty of the offence, they must have voluntarily brought about the actus reus. If the prosecution can not prove that that ar is…...

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