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Complete Criminal LawText, Cases, and Materials

Complete Criminal Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (8th edn)

Janet Loveless, Mischa Allen, and Caroline Derry
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date: 02 December 2023

p. 352. Actus reus: the conduct elementlocked

p. 352. Actus reus: the conduct elementlocked

  • Janet Loveless,
  • Mischa Allen
  •  and Caroline Derry


A crime consists of conduct (actus reus or AR) and a mental element (mens rea or MR). This chapter focuses on AR, the external elements of a criminal offence. It discusses the key components of AR. These key components are omissions or liability for failing to act and causation, which represents the connection between the conduct and the result of an act. The duty of a doctor in withdrawal of medical treatment is discussed. The chapter explains that AR must be proved, must be voluntary, and can include a mental element. It also considers several examples of cases relevant to AR and analyses the bases of the court decisions.

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