Voluntary Acts Essay

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A voluntary act is a crime that is committed due to choice and free will therefore acts that a person has no physical or mental control are not voluntary for example in the case Hill v Baxter. The defendant claimed that he lost control of the car due to an unknown illness. This is an example of involuntary conduct. An omission is a failure to act. When a person has no connection to an incident, there is no liability in English law for an omission. Other countries do have laws that make a person liable for an omission for example the French legal system have the good Samaritan law. There are certain limited exceptions to the rule in English law where a person can be liable for an omission. For example: A parent/child relationship A parent who neglects their child may face criminal consequences for following death or injury. An example of this principle was given by the case of R v Gibbons & Proctor where the parents were prosecuted for manslaughter. A contractual duty Where an individual is contracted to perform certain duties, a failure to do so may result in criminal liability. As proven by R v Pittwood, a gatekeeper was found criminally liable for failing to perform his duties correctly therefore a person got killed whilst crossing the track. Creation of a dangerous situation where an individual may be found liable for failing to act is where they create a dangerous situation, which may reasonably put others at risk. For example in R v Miller, the defendant had created a dangerous situation and owed a duty to call the fire brigade upon becoming aware of the fire. He was therefore liable for his omission to do so. There are two types of causation; causation in fact and causation in law. Both types need to be satisfied that the defendant caused consequence. Without one, there wouldn’t be any causation. To prove causation in fact we must ask whether the

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