LAW04 Concepts - Fault plan



“Explain the meaning of fault and discuss the extent to which legal liability is and should be based on fault.”


Definition/ Introduction

·         Actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea

·         Language

·         Liability = fault

·         Not always true


Mens Rea

·         Barometer

·         Most serious and intention only (Mohan and Woolin definitions)

·         Recklessness (Cunningham and R v G) lower level fault.


·         Motive – Steane – mercy killings

·         UAM – MR for original act (Newberry and Jones), obj dangerous no awareness (Church)


·         GNM – MR is gross neg and obj risk of death (Bateman, Misra and Singh)

·         Non-fatal – assault/battery = level of harm, S47 and S20 constructed, no harm and some harm.



·         Mandatory life, but discretion (Farrant – fathers influence and upbringing, 12 years min term)

·         Factors

·         Ian Huntley – Soham murders, 2, 40 years min sentence – intent to kill

·         Gary Hart – Selby rail crash, at least 10 and injured more, 30 mnths - negligence


Actus Reus

·         Voluntary – Hill v Baxter and automatism (Whooley)

·         Omissions – at least 2 egs (Miller, Pitwood)

·         Causation - but for (White) and unbroken chain of




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