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WDW225 Exam Booklet - Law Principles

6 Pages
147 Views

Department
Woodsworth College Courses
Course Code
WDW101Y1
Professor
William Watson

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PRINCIPLES OF LAW
What constitutes a crime?
Mental element - mens rea
Physical act - actus reus
ACTUS REUS AND OMISSIONS
set out in the Criminal Code
involves an act or omission
may involve a specified consequence (causation)
may involve a specific circumstances (lack of consent)
must be voluntary
(physical element) + (mental element)
criminal act + criminal intent
Actus Reus
1.defined in the Criminal Code
Read the provision of the Code
2. involves an act or omission
Omission requires a legal duty to act
3. may involve a specified consequence
Causation = factual and legal causation
Factual causation = contributory cause that is beyond de minimis
Legal cause = no break in the chain of causation by an intervening act or remoteness
4. may involve a specified circumstance
EXAMPLE: absence of consent consent can be vitiated (deemed invalid) by fraud or other social policy
(ex. Fighting)
5. must be voluntary
Involuntary of acting in a state of automatism
non-insane automatism vs. insane automatism
Always defined in the Criminal Code
- could be more than one element to the actus reus
- read the Code sections
- will involve an act or omission
- might specify a particular consequence (might specify causation)
- might specify a particular circumstances (absence of consent)
Criminal law: Act + Fault
Act:1)of commission, or,
2)in certain cases only, of omission,
3)that is voluntary, and,
4)If the consequences are part of the definition, have caused those consequences
Causation may not be part of the definition in the Criminal Code
OMISSIONS
Actus reus usually involves an act of commission (positive act)
BUT can sometimes involve an act of omission (failure to act)
Must be a legal duty to act
www.notesolution.com
Criminal Code creates legal duties
Failure to carry out legal duty = actus reus
WHAT IS MENS REA?
actus non facit reum nisi sit rea (an act does not become guilty unless the mind is guilty)
theories of punishment premised on intent (retribution, general deterrence, rehabilitation)
Mens rea depends on the actus reus.
NOT set out in the Criminal Code
Mens rea requires:
mens rea with regard to the act/omission
mens rea with regard to the circumstances
mens rea with regard to the consequences
EXAMPLES:
265(1) a person commits an assault when (a) without the consent of another person, he applies force
intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly
intentional application of force
knowledge of the lack of consent
Mens rea can either be subjective or objective
SUBJECTIVE mens rea requires that the accused actually intend or know the consequences and acts
purposely
OBJECTIVE mens rea looks at what the accused would have known/understood
PROBLEM: how to prove/disprove mens rea (objective or subjective)?
reasonable inference from words of the accused
reasonable inference from actions of the accused
testimony of the accused accepted or rejected
If mens rea is subjective, can still be proven by reference to reasonable (objective) inference from the
evidence
DEGREES OF MENS REA
SUBJECTIVE
1.Intent/Purpose
accused acted with intent to bring about result s. 229(a)(i)
2.Knowledge
accused acted with knowledge of result s. 229(a)(ii)
3.Recklessness
accused acts having actually adverted to the risk
4.Wilful Blindness
accused fails to make necessary inquiries
OBJECTIVE
1.Objective foresight
would a reasonable person foresee the consequences
2.Criminal negligence
accused conduct reveals a marked and significant departure from the standard of a reasonably
prudent person (considering the accuseds perception of the facts)
AUTOMATISM: if an act is involuntary, what causes that act to have been done involuntarily leads to
two possibilities; non-insane/insane automatism
www.notesolution.com

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Description
PRINCIPLES OF LAW What constitutes a crime? Mental element - mens rea Physical act - actus reus ACTUS REUS AND OMISSIONS set out in the Criminal Code involves an act or omission may involve a specified consequence (causation) may involve a specific circumstances (lack of consent) must be voluntary (physical element) + (mental element) criminal act + criminal intent Actus Reus 1. defined in the Criminal Code Read the provision of the Code 2. involves an act or omission Omission requires a legal duty to act 3. may involve a specified consequence Causation = factual and legal causation Factual causation = contributory cause that is beyond de minimis Legal cause = no break in the chain of causation by an intervening act or remoteness 4. may involve a specified circumstance EXAMPLE: absence of consent consent can be vitiated (deemed invalid) by fraud or other social policy (ex. Fighting) 5. must be voluntary Involuntary of acting in a state of automatism non-insane automatism vs. insane automatism Always defined in the Criminal Code - could be more than one element to the actus reus - read the Code sections - will involve an act or omission - might specify a particular consequence (might specify causation) - might specify a particular circumstances (absence of consent) Criminal law: Act + Fault Act: 1) of commission, or, 2) in certain cases only, of omission, 3) that is voluntary, and, 4) If the consequences are part of the definition, have caused those consequences Causation may not be part of the definition in the Criminal Code OMISSIONS Actus reus usually involves an act of commission (positive act) BUT can sometimes involve an act of omission (failure to act) Must be a legal duty to act www.notesolution.com
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