Two basic and the most important elements of crime are 'mens rea' and 'actus reus'.
'Mens rea' translates as 'to have in mind” from Latin. It is an
important element of any crime because it relates to the need to
determine whether the defendant held the sufficient state of mind to
have the intent to commit the particular crime in question with the
‘guilty mind’.- 1) According to the Hyam v DPP  AC 55 case it
relates to the idea that there is sufficient “criminal intention”. Sweet
v. Parsley  AC 132 case illustrates that mens rea is required
when the offence is a true crime as oppose to a normative offence.
'Actus reus' translates as “to do an act” from Latin, i.e. the
occurrence of the criminal act or an unlawful omission of an act. It is
the act which, in combination with mens rea constitutes a crime. For
example, the crime of theft requires physically taking something (the
actus reus) coupled with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of
the object (the mens rea)
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Nov 23rd, 2014
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