Both actions and intent must be evident to find a person guilty under the doctrine of criminal law. Actusreus simply refers the guilty act that forms the physical element of an offence. Persons cannot be held liable for bad intentions only and therefore, criminal liability is not chargeable with any actusreus. Carla does her business without authorization in streets and often under darkness. She goes out of her way and draws a suggestive picture on the ground of a cash services premise, a picture is likely to create a negative image of the premise to its clients. Her conduct alone may not amount to a criminal act, but the outcomes of the same conduct may be (Ormerod 2005, 32).
Carla is therefore criminally liable for her conduct that causes despair to Nirmal and possible tarnish of the image of the cash service premise. Nirmal’s conduct is also not criminally chargeable when he angrily throws a lit cigar to the ground. The cigar burns a pile of rubbish as he watches, but he dismisses the possibility of the fire spreading and being potentially destructive because of the fact that it’s a small fire. Eventually the fire cause destruction to Peter’s property, a loss should be partly charged to Nirmail. Though again his conduct was not criminal, the results of it render him criminally liable (Simons 1997, 41). Leyla notices the fire spread towards Peter’s shop and ascertains that Peters is in the shop but she does nothing to save him the possible loss. Her failure to act amounts to no liability but it’s a statutory requirement to provide important information in such an incident. She is thus criminally liable for omission (New South Wales Parliament 2006, 23).
Mens Reus refers to the intention to commit a crime. It constitutes the mental element of a criminal act. To be liable of most criminal acts, law offenders must have executed the crimes in a particular mental state. Carla may be held liable for the drawing she made on the ground near a cash facility as she did it intentionally, and may be for her own personal interests. She cares less about its outcomes to serve her intentions. This incidence therefore makes her criminally liable for mensreus of negligence. After Nirmail notices the small fire he consciously disregards it and expects the fire to put itself out. This is an account of mensreus of recklessness as the fire does not go off but instead spreads to consume property causing a loss that he could have contained (Glazebrook 2001, 12).
Leyla has her share of mens rues of purpose as she purposely decides not to alert Peter of the encroaching fire. Though her act of not causing an alarm about the fire is not chargeable at law as criminal liability her purpose to see Peter suffer the fire make her liable. The three are thus jointly liable of the damages that Peter suffers in respect of the property consumed by the fire.
Making use of mensrea and actusreus to establish a criminal liability may prove futile. It has been noted by philosophers that it is not possible to determine or even comprehend what takes place in the minds of other people.