Explain how there can be criminal liability for an omission. In UK law, there is generally no criminal liability for a failure to act. The exception to this principle is in situations where the defendant had a legal duty to take positive action, but failed in this duty. There are five situation where a person is duty bound to act otherwise he may be criminally liable. Like where a defendant was duty bound by a specific statue or law to act but willingly does not do so, is liable of an offence as in the case of Dytham. Another is if a person is bound to act according to law where he/she has gone under a contract, often relating to their employment. It is their obligatory and statutory duty to act according to law which happened in the case of Pittwood. Another situation is where a duty arises from a relation, there are two types of relation among the people on is by blood and the other is by subsequent relations. Usually parents are duty bound to take care of their children as seen in Gibbons and Proctor. Reliance or voluntary responsibility is if a couple takes a duty of care for a child to look after him and they are being paid for it that is called contractual duty on the other hand where a couple assume a duty of care towards there vulnerable relative they assume a duty of voluntary responsibility to look after him and take care of him, failing to do so they may be charged for criminal offence. This happened in the case of Stone and Dobinson when they took the responsibility for caring for a sick relative. Finally there is a duty arising from commission of a fault. For example if D is has created an unlawful situation without any mens rea but is still responsibility for such act and, they deliberately refuses to deal with the situation and make it safe, then they are surely liable for that negligence as was the case with Miller.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document