Ingredients of Actus Reus Essay

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This paper provides an understanding of the different ingredients of actus reus in criminal law. It covers relevant literature as well as analyzes case law on the concept.
What is actus reus?
An individual in the normal course of events cannot be accused or be held liable for a serious criminal offence unless two elements are present, firstly, the mens rea or guilty mind and the physical element or actus reus. This principle is often stated in the form of a Latin maxim; actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea which means that a person cannot be held guilty of a crime unless his mind is also guilty.
The actus reus is not just the conduct of the person itself, it includes all other elements and any surrounding
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Not all actus rei require all of these ingredients, in the offence of bigamy the act of marriage is in certain circumstances (the defendant is already married) but it is not necessary to prove any result in such an offence, another example would be the possession of illegal drugs.
2) Result crimes require proof that the defendant performed the act as well as that the act produced results that pertain to the act itself. For example, Murder requires proof that the act of the individual caused the death of the victim.
Voluntary act
An act can be defined as “an event subject to the control of will” . Most criminal offences require proof that the person accused of committing a crime committed a voluntary act. Lord Denning in Bratty v AG of Northern Ireland stated that it is an essential requirement that the act be voluntary in every criminal case, If the act is not proved to be voluntary, the defendant cannot be held guilty of an offence as the mens rea and actus reus will not be proved. To illustrate, If A shoots B to death with a rifle, it would constitute an act for which A would be criminally liable, as the fact that the rifle was loaded and that A voluntary pulled the trigger which discharged the bullet and lead to the death of B . However, in the case of Leicester v Pearson, a driver was indicted for not giving priority to a walker on a zebra intersection,

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