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Criminal law LA1010

This module examines general principles of criminal liability, a range of fatal and non-fatal offences against the person and selected offences against property. It also looks at attempts to commit offences, secondary liability and defences.

Topics covered

  • General principles of criminal law.
  • Actus reus. Act requirements. Liability for omissions and situational ability.
  • Causation.
  • Mens rea. Intention recklessness and negligenc.
  • Coincidence of actus reus and mens rea.
  • General defences 1. Insanity. Automatism. Intoxication
  • General defences 2. Necessity. Duress. Self-defence. Consent.
  • Murder and voluntary manslaughter.
  • Involuntary manslaughter.
  • Non-fatal offences 1. Section 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988.
  • Non-fatal offences 2. Sections 18, 20, 47 OAPA 1861.
  • Rape.
  • Theft. Fraud. Burglary.
  • Criminal damage.
  • Secondary participation.
  • Inchoate offences. Assisting and encouraging crime and criminal attempts.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the module successfully you should be able to:

  • Describe the legal principles governing liability for offences against the person and property offences
  • Describe the principles governing criminal defences
  • Describe the legal principles governing liability for preliminary or inchoate offences and liability as an accomplice
  • Explain the hierarchy of courts and the appeal process in criminal cases
  • Explain the points of comparison and distinction between different offences within the same family and different criminal defences
  • Interpret a set of facts in order to identify legal issues arising, providing reasoned arguments and conclusions as to the criminal offences that may have been committed and defences that may be available
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of areas of law in terms of underlying considerations of morality, principle and policy
  • Communicate in a clear and concise manner, using accurate legal terminology
  • Conduct straightforward legal research tasks using legal databases and the internet to locate primary and secondary sources relevant to criminal law.


3hr 15 mins unseen examination

Essential reading

Wilson, W. Criminal law. (Harlow: Pearson, 2020) seventh edition [ISBN 9781292286747].