Under the English law individual liability is based liability on the concept of blameworthiness. The oxford English dictionary defines fault as ‘responsibly or blame for an offence or misdeed’ it is not considered appropriate to subject someone to civil or criminal sanctions unless it can be proved that he or she performed on illegal at in a blameworthy manner. Blame does not normally attach in civil law if the injury occurs accidently or in criminal law or the crime occurs through in honest mistake or where the defendant (through insanity or automatism) cannot be held responsible for his or her actions in criminal law to be found guilty of most criminal offences, an actus rea and mens rea must be present. The actus reus is the physical element to an offence, to prove fault the defendant must commit the actus rea in a voluntary manner. If the defendant is not in control of his body for example in Hill v Baxter where the judge stated if the driver was attacked by a swarm of bees and he has a sneezing fit he will be available to use the defence of automatism. Automatism arises when someone suffers a ‘complete loss of voluntary control as stated in Bratty v AG for Northern Ireland. This must be due to an external factor. In such situation he will not be at fault and the law will not blame his or her conduct.
Also to prove fault there is the coincidence rule where the actus rea and mens rea must coincide, the court have adapted a flexible approach in order to find fault and attach responsibility in the intent of justice even where strictly speaking the actus rea and mens rea don’t coincide this is seen in the case of Church.
Also a chain in the causation must exist in result crimes between the defendants conduct and the consequences. The defendant must be both the factual and legal came of the result to be at fault. The defendant is the factual cause based on the ‘but for’ test as shown in R v Pagett. The defendant fault is that the result would not have