Action crimes

the components of a criminal offence are the actus reus and the mens rea.

 

The components of a criminal offence are the actus reus and the mens rea.

Actus reus refers to the physical element required for criminal liability, the 'guilty act'. This can comprise of an act, an omission or a state of affairs. With 'action' crimes it is sufficient that a certain conduct or behaviour is committed. The actus reus consists of the prohibited act and the question of whether the offence has been committed is not dependent upon a particular consequence or result.

An example of a 'action' crime is perjury which is the making of a statement on oath which the maker does not believe to be true. It is not essential to show that the statement made a difference in some way. It is a matter of fact whether the accused made the statement on oath and whether they believed it to be false.

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