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Criminal law
Assignment 2 – homicide problem
Part A – Case study
Actus reus and mens rea meaning: Murder is defined in law as causing the death of a human being within the Queen’s peace with the intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm. So in order convict a person of murder these two elements have to be proved, these are the act was unlawful (actus reus) and the intention (mens rea). Since the Law Reforms “Year and a Day Rule” Act 1996 it is not necessary for the death to occur within a year and a day of the act or omission. The first element to be satisfied is the mens rea, the awareness of the fact that his or her conduct is criminal. Robert v Anna and unborn baby, In order for Robert to be charged with Murder, you have to prove the two elements, the first element being mens rea which from the above it proves that Robert’s act, with the gun resulted in Anna being shot and the bullet lodged in the unborn baby. Anna survived, but her unborn baby perished. Secondly you have to prove then the actus rea. This case states that Robert suffered from a mental disorder, so he was not in the right state of mind and he was unable to perceive the nature of his acts and unable to tell right from wrong at the time. So in this case Robert would not be charged with Murder. GBH as insanity is a full defence, although Robert would have been given a hospital order as the courts also needs to consider Robert against current social concerns with public protection and risk prevention. In the case of Arnold v Robert, the two elements can be proved actus rea, as The act was unlawful and also the mens rea as Arnold had the intention. The act was committed, several hours after the initial attack. This shows that Arnold had planned this unlawful act, which resulted in Robert’s death, being within the Queen’s peace with the intention to kill. Arnold would therefore be convicted of First-degree murder, as the killing was “planned and deliberate”. Those convicted of...
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