Actus Reus The actus reus of an offence requires and act or omission, physical voluntariness, and causation. Omissions



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Burden of Proof

The crown has the persuasive burden in a criminal trial, which is reinforced by s11(d) of the Charter. In Oakes a reverse onus provision that if found in possession of drugs an accused must prove no intent to traffic offended s11(d).



Actus Reus

The actus reus of an offence requires and act or omission, physical voluntariness, and causation.



Omissions At CL, offences resulting from omissions focused on whether or not the court implied a legal duty. This often had a moralizing tone. In Instan the court finds that a niece has a duty to aid her aunt because she lived and was supported by her aunt. In Beardsley the court found that he had no duty to aid a woman who was not his wife. As there are no longer CL offences in Canada (CCC s9), duties and omissions have been codified. S215 creates a duty to provide the necessities to children, spouse, and dependants. S220 and s221 are the provisions for criminal negligence causing death and bodily harm. In Urbanovich, under s220, the mother of a child who was killed by the abusive father was guilt for failing to act. In Thorton, the court uses s180, common nuisance, to create a legal duty to criminalize donation of HIV+ blood. Voluntariness The criminal law assumes people operate in a state of consciousness. Causation The crown must prove both factual and legal causation. Current standard for factual causation is “a substantial cause” (Nette), which is a rewording of the previous standard of “beyond the de minimis” (Smithers). First-degree murder requires the higher standard of a significant contributing cause (Harbottle). Legal causation is covered in CCC ss 222(5),(6), 224, 225, 226, 228. An act does not sever legal causation if its general nature and risk of harm were reasonably foreseeable (Maybin). The victim refusing medical treatment for religious reasons also does not sever causation (Blaue).

Mens Rea




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