This section focuses on the rules and general elements of criminal law, criminal liability, offences against the person, offences against property and defences. Students develop their understanding of criminal law, apply their legal knowledge to scenario-based situations, and gain a critical awareness of the present state of criminal law. The AQA and OCR specification are slightly different but they both cover the following topics.
The first topic is the foundations of criminal law. The section is divided into two parts. The rules governing the Actus Reus (the guilty act) and the Mens rea (the guilty mind). Both elements are usually needed for someone to be guilty of a crime.
1. Actus reus:
2. Mens rea:
This section refers to criminal offences against people that do not result in death. The A level curriculum covers a combination of common law offences (where the law has developed through precedent) and statutory offences (where the law can be found in an act of parliament).
This section refers to criminal offences against the person that results in death. The
A level curriculum covers a combination of common law offences and statutory
2. Voluntary manslaughter:
3. Common law offence of involuntary manslaughter:
When a defendant has met the Actus Reus and Mens rea elements of an offence they will often be found guilty unless the defendant can present a valid defence. Mental capacity deferences are used when it is argued that there was something wrong with their state of mind at the time of the offence. The A level curriculum covers three of these offences.