A2 law omissions essay

A2 law omissions essay

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Law Murder example essay

I am answering from the Jun 11 paper

-I have highlighted every case and act I have used-

According to the scenario, Matt has died as a consequence of the first started by Harry. Therefore, the jury would be entitled to consider whether he is indeed liable for the common law offence of murder. For the jury to find Harry liable, they would need to be sure that he has the required actus reus and mens.

The actus reus of murder is taken from a quote from the Lord Justice Cooke as being the «unlwaful killing of a reasonable creature, under the King/Queen’s peace». The defendants must be unlawful, and the victims death must be as a direct consequence. The jury would need to be sure that Harry’s actions were voluntary (Hill v Baxter) , but given that he purposely set fire to the kitchen, there is little issue on this. However, they would also be entitled to find Harry guilty under an omission, provided that it came within one of the four main exceptions. In the case of Harry, he created a problem, which started a chain of events, of which he failed to deal with responsabely (R v Miller) ; therefore, by falling under this exception by failing to put out the fire, or take responsability for his actions, he could be found to have this actus reus under an omission. Whilst there appears to be no issue with causation, the course would still need to give consideration for causation in fact, involving the use of the «but for» test (R v Paggett) , and legal causation (R v Smith) . They could perhaps take into account any possible, unmentioned novus actus intervins (R v Jordan) , but again there appears to be no issue here. Therefore, the courts would be entitled to find that Harry did indeed commit the required actus reus for a murder, be it a voluntary, unlawful action or an omission.

Whilst Harry may well have the required actus reus, the courts would need to again be sure he has the required mens rea. The mens rea is defined as being «malice aforethought, expressed or implied». Expressed malice aforethought simply means the defendant went out with the intention to kill, whilst implied states that the defendant meerly intended to cause grevious bodily harm (R v Vickers) . It is a little unclear when considering Harry, whether he intended the fire to cause the death of Matt, but either type of malice aforethought would find Harry in possession of the required mens rea. The real problem, however, when considering the mens rea of a murder, is the foresight of consequences. R v Nedrick raises two questions; was the otucome virtually certain, and did the defendant forsee this (these were confirmed in the case of R v Woollin )? Should the answer be no to these, then the defendant has oblique intent and cannot be found guilty. However, should the answer be yes to the…

Report Sat 7th June, 2014 @ 03:34

Thanks! This has helped me alot!! 🙂

Report Wed 11th March, 2015 @ 19:36

Report Tue 15th November, 2016 @ 16:59

This was very helpful, Thank you

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Law Murder example essay

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  • Created on: 31-12-12 14:18

I am answering from the Jun 11 paper

-I have highlighted every case and act I have used-

According to the scenario, Matt has died as a consequence of the first started by Harry. Therefore, the jury would be entitled to consider whether he is indeed liable for the common law offence of murder. For the jury to find Harry liable, they would need to be sure that he has the required actus reus and mens.

The actus reus of murder is taken from a quote from the Lord Justice Cooke as being the «unlwaful killing of a reasonable creature, under the King/Queen’s peace». The defendants must be unlawful, and the victims death must be as a direct consequence. The jury would need to be sure that Harry’s actions were voluntary (Hill v Baxter) , but given that he purposely set fire to the kitchen, there is little issue on this. However, they would also be entitled to find Harry guilty under an omission, provided that it came within one of the four main exceptions. In the case of Harry, he created a problem, which started a chain of events, of which he failed to deal with responsabely (R v Miller) ; therefore, by falling under this exception by failing to put out the fire, or take responsability for his actions, he could be found to have this actus reus under an omission. Whilst there appears to be no issue with causation, the course would still need to give consideration for causation in fact, involving the use of the «but for» test (R v Paggett) , and legal causation (R v Smith) . They could perhaps take into account any possible, unmentioned novus actus intervins (R v Jordan) , but again there appears to be no issue here. Therefore, the courts would be entitled to find that Harry did indeed commit the required actus reus for a murder, be it a voluntary, unlawful action or an omission.

Whilst Harry may well have the required actus reus, the courts would need to again be sure he has the required mens rea. The mens rea is defined as being «malice aforethought, expressed or implied». Expressed malice aforethought simply means the defendant went out with the intention to kill, whilst implied states that the defendant meerly intended to cause grevious bodily harm (R v Vickers) . It is a little unclear when considering Harry, whether he intended the fire to cause the death of Matt, but either type of malice aforethought would find Harry in possession of the required mens rea. The real problem, however, when considering the mens rea of a murder, is the foresight of consequences. R v Nedrick raises two questions; was the otucome virtually certain, and did the defendant forsee this (these were confirmed in the case of R v Woollin )? Should the answer be no to these, then the defendant has oblique intent and cannot be found guilty. However, should the answer be yes to the…

A2 law omissions essay

Today Head Principle of External Program of University of London came to our college and gave us some lecture about what Malaysian students tend to do during the exam. Well, he was saying that Malaysian always started their essay with the same «template». OK.
And I am not asking for opinion how you guys start a criminal problem answering question.

For example:
J’s young son had been attacked by K, an older boy who, at the time, had been recovering from an epileptic fit. J was very anxious because the school would not expel K or arrange for proper supervision. J was driving down a lonely country lane when he saw K on the side of the road having a fit. K was under a puddle of water. J stopped and watched K writhing on the ground until K’s face went under the water of the puddle. J watched as K drowned.
Advise J of his criminal liability, if any. What difference, if any, would it make to your advise if J had driven to a point from which an ambulance was coming and by driving slowly had delayed its arrival to the scene of the accident?

Lecture mentioned about the formula, which is issue, law and application. Issue is where I have to state what offense the defendant might be charge of. Law is the definition of the offense and raise a defense. Application is where I apply the case and the principle underlying, relate them to the problem.

In this case, I will start with, I always start with.

J might be charged of murder which J purposely not saving K and watched him drowned. Murder is defined as unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Omission is failure to act. In normal circumstances, when someone fails to act, he/she will not be liable under criminal law. But, in some situation where there is a duty to act, criminal liability will be imposed. Omission will lead to liability of murder even thought mens rea is absent. R v Gibbins & Proctoter and R v Stone & Dobinsion.
List down all 5 duties with the cases. R v Pittwood, R v Dytham, R v Miller. And lastly, conclude that J doesn’t have duty toward K and therefore J is acquitted.

* Please suggest what I can do to improve my working. Please also kindly suggest how I can change the style of my answer. *

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  • 03-10-2009 15:41

I think you have the general «jist» of things. The IRAC formula is really good but don’t forget to conclude. Theoretically, the law can be applied in favour of either the defence or the prosecution and the conclusion is where you can state, in your own opinion, where you think the line will be drawn. Sometimes in a problem question you will have a number of potential defendants and the best way to start, as you already have done, is to name who these people are and state which offence(s) they may be prosecuted for. I’m doubtful that J could be prosecuted for either manslaughter or murder because he lacks the mens rea for both offences and, more importantly, this is an act of non-feasance (an ommission). This is clearly the issue: can J be held liable for failing to prevent the death of K?

That sorts out your introduction and so now you have to move on to actually apply the law. There are a few cases of omissions liability which arises in certain circumstances. These include: where somebody has a duty to act (i. e. where the parties are in a close family relationship, see: Downes or where responsibility has been assumed, see: Instan and Stone and Dobinson). There are also cases where people have a duty to act because responsibilty has been assumed by contract, as in Pittwood for example, and even cases where responsibility is imposed by statute. In Miller it was also decided that a defendant must act where he/she has created the dangerous situation. In other problem questions where a prosecution is more likely, there will also be defences; where this is the cases you simply start a new paragrpah, outline what they are, why and how they are applicable and what effect they would have in mitigating the defendant’s sentence or in absolving him of complete liability.

You then go on to advise where, if at all, these exceptions can be applied. In this case it is clear that they cannot and so you can only logically conclude that J cannot be liable for failing to prevent the death of K. You’re then asked to apply the same structure to the hypothetical scenario in which J purposely slows down the emergency services; to do this, you simply do the same thing again and then reach an overall conclusion for J’s liability both in failing to prevent the death of K and for slowing down the emergency services.

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  • 03-10-2009 16:30

(Original post by Mr_Deeds)
I think you have the general «jist» of things. The IRAC formula is really good but don’t forget to conclude. Theoretically, the law can be applied in favour of either the defence or the prosecution and the conclusion is where you can state, in your own opinion, where you think the line will be drawn. Sometimes in a problem question you will have a number of potential defendants and the best way to start, as you already have done, is to name who these people are and state which offence(s) they may be prosecuted for. I’m doubtful that J could be prosecuted for either manslaughter or murder because he lacks the mens rea for both offences and, more importantly, this is an act of non-feasance (an ommission). This is clearly the issue: can J be held liable for failing to prevent the death of K?

That sorts out your introduction and so now you have to move on to actually apply the law. There are a few cases of omissions liability which arises in certain circumstances. These include: where somebody has a duty to act (i. e. where the parties are in a close family relationship, see: Downes or where responsibility has been assumed, see: Instan and Stone and Dobinson). There are also cases where people have a duty to act because responsibilty has been assumed by contract, as in Pittwood for example, and even cases where responsibility is imposed by statute. In Miller it was also decided that a defendant must act where he/she has created the dangerous situation. In other problem questions where a prosecution is more likely, there will also be defences; where this is the cases you simply start a new paragrpah, outline what they are, why and how they are applicable and what effect they would have in mitigating the defendant’s sentence or in absolving him of complete liability.

You then go on to advise where, if at all, these exceptions can be applied. In this case it is clear that they cannot and so you can only logically conclude that J cannot be liable for failing to prevent the death of K. You’re then asked to apply the same structure to the hypothetical scenario in which J purposely slows down the emergency services; to do this, you simply do the same thing again and then reach an overall conclusion for J’s liability both in failing to prevent the death of K and for slowing down the emergency services.

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  • 03-10-2009 16:48

Automatism is one of a number of defences in criminal (and civil) law; it’s applicable where the defendant is not responsible for his actions because he is acting involuntarily and cannot therefore be held responsible for the actus reus element of the crime.

J would be liable under criminal law for slowing down the emergency services because that’s a case of misfeasance. It’s a positive act (as opposed to an omission) which is done with the intention of bringing about some negative consequence. That’s a pretty detailed application of the law and it involves a discussion of intention, recklessness and the possibility of a prosecution for murder/manslaughter. Something which, at this stage, you won’t be expected to talk about in your answer.

Donoghue v Stevenson is a case from Tort law and it’s not directly applicable here. The neighbourhood principle basically states that «you must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour». It’s vaguely applicable here in that J could foresee his actions would injure his neighbour and so he’s «breached his duty of care». More relevant is R v Woolllin but that’s something which you’ll touch upon later in the year.

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  • 03-10-2009 16:52
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  • 03-10-2009 16:57

(Original post by Mr_Deeds)
Automatism is one of a number of defences in criminal (and civil) law; it’s applicable where the defendant is not responsible for his actions because he is acting involuntarily and cannot therefore be held responsible for the actus reus element of the crime.

J would be liable under criminal law for slowing down the emergency services because that’s a case of misfeasance. It’s a positive act (as opposed to an omission) which is done with the intention of bringing about some negative consequence. That’s a pretty detailed application of the law and it involves a discussion of intention, recklessness and the possibility of a prosecution for murder/manslaughter. Something which, at this stage, you won’t be expected to talk about in your answer.

Donoghue v Stevenson is a case from Tort law and it’s not directly applicable here. The neighbourhood principle basically states that «you must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour». It’s vaguely applicable here in that J could foresee his actions would injure his neighbour and so he’s «breached his duty of care». More relevant is R v Woolllin but that’s something which you’ll touch upon later in the year.

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  • 03-10-2009 16:57

(Original post by Somanee)
Today Head Principle of External Program of University of London came to our college and gave us some lecture about what Malaysian students tend to do during the exam. Well, he was saying that Malaysian always started their essay with the same «template». OK.
And I am not asking for opinion how you guys start a criminal problem answering question.

For example:
J’s young son had been attacked by K, an older boy who, at the time, had been recovering from an epileptic fit. J was very anxious because the school would not expel K or arrange for proper supervision. J was driving down a lonely country lane when he saw K on the side of the road having a fit. K was under a puddle of water. J stopped and watched K writhing on the ground until K’s face went under the water of the puddle. J watched as K drowned.
Advise J of his criminal liability, if any. What difference, if any, would it make to your advise if J had driven to a point from which an ambulance was coming and by driving slowly had delayed its arrival to the scene of the accident?

Lecture mentioned about the formula, which is issue, law and application. Issue is where I have to state what offense the defendant might be charge of. Law is the definition of the offense and raise a defense. Application is where I apply the case and the principle underlying, relate them to the problem.

In this case, I will start with, I always start with.

J might be charged of murder which J purposely not saving K and watched him drowned. Murder is defined as unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Omission is failure to act. In normal circumstances, when someone fails to act, he/she will not be liable under criminal law. But, in some situation where there is a duty to act, criminal liability will be imposed. Omission will lead to liability of murder even thought mens rea is absent. R v Gibbins & Proctoter and R v Stone & Dobinsion.
List down all 5 duties with the cases. R v Pittwood, R v Dytham, R v Miller. And lastly, conclude that J doesn’t have duty toward K and therefore J is acquitted.

* Please suggest what I can do to improve my working. Please also kindly suggest how I can change the style of my answer. *

I doubt if j is liable for manslughter let alone murder. An ommison to act will not result in criminal liabilty being imposed, but terhe are situations where a crime have been committed because the defeandant failed to act these are:
Contractual duty
Failure minimise the harmful damage of his act
Where a person voluntarily takes on a duty
By virtue of relationship

Public posiiton requires him to act, im only going to explain this part since it only has relevance to your senerio. An example of this is Dytham; where a police man off duty, watched a victim get beaten up. Although at that time he wasnt on duty, his postion in society required him to help. Now in J’s case he chose not to help this doesnt mean, he would be charged of anything because, he doesnt owe K, a duty of care.

Now about The donoghue v stevenson case, where there was a snail in the ginger beer. You need to talk about the reasonable man. What the reasonable man would do is to try to fulfil his duty to other people. This would include a duty of care owed to others. The rule that you are to love your neighbour becomes in law, you must not injure your neighbour. You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omission which you can reasonably forsee would be likely to injure your neighbour. I believe you should also include the caparo v Dickman test (forseeability, proximity and reasonability)