W100 Q3

Question 3 - Prepare an essay plan which addresses the following question: ‘Explore the role of mens rea and actus reus in criminal law’.

This essay will systematically examine the meaning of mens rea and actus reus and establish what they mean and how they are applied to criminal law in the United Kingdom.

Main Body 1 - Mens Rea
Explain what the basic definition of mens rea is - ‘’a guilty mind’’
Examine the different types of mens rea, starting with Specific Intention, whereby the defendant set out to commit a crime and achieved what he intended (R -v- Mohan (1976). Explain the notion of ‘Foresight of consequences’ (also known as oblique intent) and discuss progression from decision in R -v- Moloney (1985), and how following cases (ending in R -v- Woollin (1998) have affected the definition of oblique intent.
Explain Subjective Recklessness and how this can also be a type of mens rea, even though the defendants crime was not their actual intention.
Explain Objective Recklessness and how this can be a type of mens rea, even when the defendant did not realise the risk.
Explain Transferred Malice using R -v- Latimer (1886) and R -v- Pembliton (1874).
Main Body 2 - Actus Reus
Explain what the definition of actus reus is - ‘‘the guilty act’’ - what is done, or in some cases not done for the defendant to be liable for the offence.
Omissions as actus reus - explain how the guilty act can sometimes actually be a lack of action. For example not adhering to a duty of care as a parent or carer. Use case law to provide examples and evidence of omissions as actus reus. Also discuss Airedale National Health Service Trust -v- Bland (1993) in reference to how this particular omission did not count as an actus reus.
Causation as actus reus - explain how sometimes the actus reus may require a consequence to be followed from an action to amount to a guilty act. For example, if an assault caused actual bodily harm, the actual bodily harm must be...