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Lecture 3

Woodsworth College Courses
Course Code
David Davies

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WDW225 October 7, 2010 Essential Elements of the Criminal ActLecture
What constitutes a crime?
-mental element MENS REA
-physical element ACTUS REUS
Criminal Law; Act + Fault
-of commission or
-in certain cases only, of omission
-that is voluntary and
-if the consequences are part of the definition, have caused those consequences
Frey v. Fedoruk
Section 177: Everyone who loiters or prowls at night on the property of another person near a dwelling-
house situated on that property is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction
Example 2: ACTUS REUS Doesnt always need physical touching
265(1) A person commits an assault when b he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force
to another person, if he has, or causes that person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present
ability to effect his purpose
ACTUS REUS No Causation
-causation may not be part of the definition in the Criminal Code
Example Section 241
Everyone who: a) counsels a person to commit suicide, or b) aids or abets a person to commit suicide,
whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding fourteen years
Example Section 222
(5) A person commits culpable homicide when he causes the death of a human being
a) by means of an unlawful act
b) by criminal negligence
c) by causing that human being, by threats or fear of violence or by deception, to do anything that causes
his death; or
d) by wilfully frightening that
R. v. Hutt (1978, SCC)
Section 195.1
Every person who solicits any person in a public place for the purpose of prostitution is guilty of an
offence punishable on summary conviction
First question: public place? Relevance?
Second question: what did the Code mean by solicit? Not defined in the code
Dictionary definitions
-of women; to accost and importune (men) for immoral purposes
Words used conjunctively
-but then, what does it mean to accost and importune?
-importune; to solicit pressingly or persistently
-older definitions: pestering or annoying
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