Unit 3: Omissions and Causation (Causation: Is the link between the…
Unit 3: Omissions and Causation
D can be criminally liable if he fails to act when a duty to act was created
An omission can be created if ...
D has a duty to remedy a dangerous situation if they created it. Failure to do so can result in an omission.
D was squatting when he fell asleep whilst smoking, he awoke to the materress on fire but instead of putting it out just went in to another room. he failed to remedy the dangerous situation.
: If yo have taken on voluntary care then a failure to care or act is an omission.
Stone and Dobinson:
D and his wife took on voluntary care of d's sister. She had an eating disorder and refused to eat. they did not act and call and ambulance and she died after being left in her bed. D failed to care/ act.
Misconduct in a public office
: Public policy means that in puplic services there is a duty to act and failure to do so can result in an omission.
D was still in uniform when he saw a man getting beaten up outside a club. He just watched and did not try to stop it because he was still in uniform he had a duty to act but failed to do so.
: If a statue creates a duty to act failure to do so is an omission.
Road Traffic Act 1988
- giving insurance details after a crash
D can be liable if he fails to act when there was a contractual duty expecting him to act.
PITTWOOD**: D was employed to open and close a level crossing gate, he failed to close it and group of kids drove over the tracks and were killed. D had a contractual duty to close the gate but failed
: If there is a special relationship such as a parent and child then there is a duty to act created.
Gibbins and proctor:
step mom failed to feed stepchild left in her care and it died. this was an omission as there was a special relationship.
: Is the link between the defendant's act and the prohibited outcome. Causation is established in both fact and law.
Is established when there is an unbroken chain of causation. The defendants act must be the
operating and substantial
cause of the outcome
( R v Smith
Doesn't need to be the only cause but must have significantly contributed (
R v Cheshire
Thin skull rule:
D must take v as he finds them ( R v Blaue)
3) V's own act:
If so daft and unexpected a reasonable person would not foresee it. the V's conduct can break the chain.
1) Natural event or third party's act
: If unforeseeable a third party's act can break the chain of causation
If so palpably wrong and independent then it can break the chain
( R v Jordan)
Is objectively tested through the
'But for' test'
. This states that but for the defendant's actions the prohibited outcome would not of occurred.
This is established in the case of
R v White