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Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law

Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law (3rd edn)

John Child and David Ormerod QC
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date: 30 September 2022

p. 1274. Interaction of actus reus and mens realocked

p. 1274. Interaction of actus reus and mens realocked

  • John ChildJohn ChildSenior Lecturer in Criminal Law, Birmingham Law School
  •  and David OrmerodDavid OrmerodLaw Commissioner for England and Wales, Professor of Criminal Justice at University College London

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the interaction between actus reus and mens rea in proving criminal liability. It first considers how actus reus and mens rea relate to one another within the structure of an offence before discussing the issues that also emerge when applying offence requirements to a set of facts. As an example, it explains how every element (conduct, circumstance, and result) of an offence includes an actus reus requirement and a corresponding mens rea requirement. It also examines the correspondence principle and the doctrine of transferred malice, along with the coincidence principle. Finally, it outlines potential options for legal reform and a structure for analysing the actus reus and mens rea of an offence when applying the law in problem-type questions. Relevant cases are highlighted throughout the chapter, with brief summaries of the main facts and judgments.

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