Discuss the Extent to Which Liability in English Law Is, and Should Be Fault Based.

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Discuss the extent to which liability in English Law is, and should be fault based. ‘Fault’ is given to a person when they have done something wrong, i.e in terms of ‘blame’ or ‘responsibility’. A person may be blamed and justifiably made liable for actions that can be described as being their fault.When it comes to criminal law, it is the prosecutions role to establish that the defendant has carried out the unlawful act, known as the actus reus, and at that time the defendant had the guilty mind, known as the mens rea. Simply, the deft is made accountable for the fact that he is at ‘fault’ for his actions. If he is responsible he should be ‘blamed’ through a conviction and then ‘punished’ with his sentence. The sentence is deserved because of the initial fault in his conduct. The a/r of a crime is usually in the form of a voluntary act, where the deft is in control of his actions. In the case of Hill v Baxter, a driver who was attacked by a swarm of bees was said to be no longer acting voluntarily, and thus was not at fault. However, fault can arise from a persons omission (a failure to act) also, but in such cases the deft will be held less responsible as he had less control over his actions. If the deft had a duty to act, then he will be held fully responsible, for example in the case of R v Miller, where the deft was sleeping on a mattress in a warehouse and he fell asleep with a lit cigarette, when he awoke the mattress was smouldering but he left the room to sleep somewhere else without solving the problem. Because he had failed to minimise the consequences of his actions, he was at fault. It must be proven that when the a/r was committed that there was no break in the chain of causation, i.e there was no independent intervening act. In the case of R v Jordan for example, the victim had almost healed from his stab wounds when he was administered the

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