Actus reus is the conduct of the accused. It can be an act of
commission or act of omission, and it must be a voluntary act that causes
the damage or harm. It can also be a "state of affairs".
person may incur criminal liability for failing to do that which the law
requires him to do as much as by doing that which the law prohibits.
The actus reus includes the state of affairs or circumstances
surrounding the commission of the offence, together with the results or
consequences (if any) that flow from that act or omission. It is essential
that the defendant acted voluntarily and that he caused the injury, damage
In other words, actus reus includes all the elements of the offence
indicated in the definition except the mens rea (the state of
mind), if any.
Feb 23rd, 2015
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