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The Elements of a Crime. To convict a person of a criminal offence in Canada , the Crown must prove 2 elements existed at the time the crime was committed: Actus Reus – “ the guilty act ” – this demonstrates a voluntary action, o mission, state of being that is p rohibited by law

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The Elements of a Crime


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    1. The Elements of a Crime

    2. To convict a person of a criminal offence in Canada , the Crown must prove 2 elements existed at the time the crime was committed: • Actus Reus – “the guilty act” – this demonstrates a voluntary action, • omission, state of being that is • prohibited by law • Mens Rea – “the guilty mind” – this demonstrates that the act was intentional, knowing, negligent, reckless or wilfully blind

    3. Actus Reus: • Most criminal actions involve an action which causes: - harm or damage to a person or group of people - damage to property • E.g: you argue with and strike a person in the face - Section 265(1) of the Criminal Code – “wrongful act of assault, when without consent of the other person, he applies force intentionally to that person, directly or indirectly” • The Code clearly defines the wrongful act • The criminal act must be completed to qualify

    4. Failure to do something can also be a crime – an “omission” - parents who fail to provide their child with enough to eat and he dies – Section 215(1) = “failure to provide a child with the necessities of life” • Offences can also be neither acts nor omissions, but a “state of being” - possession of stolen goods, break-in tools.. • Actusreus must be voluntary – you cannot force another to commit a crime - put a knife to someone’s back and make them rob a store…

    5. ReadR. v. MacGillvray, (1995) 1 S.C.R. 890 on page 144 • Answer question #1 • Discuss question #2 as a class

    6. Mens Rea: • This implies moral guilt – that the accused did something deliberately he knew was wrong, with reckless disregard for the consequences • The Crown must show intent or knowledge that the accused knew the crime was against the law

    7. Intent – accused meant to do something illegal and with disregard - general intent = person committed the act for its own sake; no ulterior motive or purpose - specific intent = person committed the act for the sake of accomplishing another; assault to commit robbery • Knowledge – awareness of certain facts to establish mensrea - e.g: knowing a document is forged and using it anyways

    8. Criminal Negligence – wanton or reckless disregard for the lives and safety of others, causing injury or death - e.g: leaving a loaded handgun in the house with small children and a child shoots another; failure to take reasonable precautions • Recklessness – consciously taking an unjustifiable risk that a reasonable person would not take - e.g: driving without glasses or when overtired

    9. Wilfull Blindness – deliberately closing your mind to the possible consequences of your actions - e.g: buying a tv with “SRT” engraved on it and you the school had been broken into recently

    10. Read“Strict and Absolute Liability Offences” on p. 150 – describe the differences between regulatory laws and liability offences • Read “Father Jailed in death of son left unsupervised” on p. 146 – answer Q. #1-4 • ReadR. v. Hebert on p. 148 – answer Q. #1-3 • ReadR. v. Adeyon p. 149 – answer Q.#2 • ReadR. v. Kersteron p. 151 – answer Q. #1-4