Omissions In Criminal Law

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This question requires for an understanding on the rules and principles relating to criminal liability for an omission. As well as whether the rules and principles are too restrictive on individual freedom. In order to have an understanding of the rules and principles of omissions, one first must understand how criminal liability is imposed. For a person to be found guilty of a crime they must have both the mens rea and actus reus of the committed crime. Actus reus is the guilty deed or act and mens rea is the guilty state of mind. The notion of omissions in criminal law relates to the actus reus element of a crime.
Omissions is defined in the oxford law dictionary as “a failure to act”. This simply means when a person is bound to do something but omits to do so. Jonathan Herring defines omissions as the defendant is only guilty of a crime when failing to act, where he or she is under a duty to act.

General Rule
In general, the English criminal law punishes positive acts , such as pushing someone off a cliff. It rarely punishes negatives acts, these negatives acts being omissions. The most common illustration of an omission is that of a person seeing a child drowning but walks past leaving the child to die. A person is generally not liable for failing to act yet when an omission creates an offence and a duty to act can be established, criminal liability can occur.
A case which states the general rule is R v Khan and Khan . In this case both

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