Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Under What Circumstances May a Person Be Criminally Liable for a Failure to Act?
General principleThere is no general liability for failure to subroutine under the common justness of England and Wales. A crime can be committed by omission, but in that location can be no omission in law in the absence of a province to act. The general basis for imposing liability in immoral law is that the defendant must be proved to have committed a guilty act whilst having had a guilty state of mind. The physical elements atomic number 18 collectively called the actus reus and the accompanied mental state is called the mens rea.Liability for omissionsThe general rule is that there can be no liability for failing to act, unless at the snip of the failure to act the defendant was under a legal affair to take collateral action. Unless a statute specifically so translates, or .the common law impose a duty upon a mortal to act in a particular way towards another a mere omission to act cannot lead to criminal liability.(R Vs Miller19831 completely ER 978.) A positive duty to act exists in the side by side(p) circumstances(a)Duty arising from statute Liability for failing to act will be imposed where the defendant can be shown to have been under a statutory duty to take positive action. A leading manakin of such a case is provided by the children and Young Persons Act 1933, which creates the umbrage of wilfully neglecting a child. Hence by simply failing to provide food for the child or failing to obtain appropriate checkup care a parent could be held criminally liable for any harm that results. (Greener Vs DPP1996 The Times, Feb. 15,1996).(b)Duty arising from a ContractWhere a person is under a positive duty to act because of his obligations under a contract, his failure to perform the contractual duty in question can form the basis of criminal liability. (R Vs Pittwood 1902 19 TLR 37).