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Sample Paper on Mens Rea, Actus Reus and Concurrence

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Sample Paper on Mens Rea, Actus Reus and Concurrence

Mens rea and actus reus are terms used in law specifically in defining actions in crime. Mens rea is a Latin word that simply means the intention of a guilty mind. Actus reus on the other hand is the action itself. The action has to be wrongful to be considered a crime. For most crimes to happen, both actus reus and mens rea have to be present (Ormerod, Smith and Hogan, 2011).

The two components of a crime are very important in prosecuting any crime. Where any of the two is missing, then it will automatically result in an acquittal. Criminal liability occurs when a person intends to harm another and later harms them. There has to be intention to commit a certain crime. At times mens rea may be out of good intent but if a violation of the law is committed in engaging in a wrongful act, a conviction is in order.

Concurrence is very significant because lack of one may exonerate an individual. When an act considered illegal is committed, the person committing it will be set free if it was not intentional. This means there was no mens rea in the first place.

Mens rea is not easy to prove beyond reasonable doubt. It is said not even the devil knows what goes on in the human mind. It is therefore difficult to prove the thoughts of human mind if they were not equivocally spoken or the intentions were not visible to others. It would not be sufficient to prosecute on the basis of one component at all. Actus reus is not as hard to prove. Concurrence is also not hard to prove as long as the mens rea and actus reus match up (Nyazee, 2010).



Nyazee, I. A. K. (2010). General principles of criminal law: (Islamic and Western). Islamabad: Advanced Legal Studies Institute.

Ormerod, D. C., Smith, J. C., Hogan, B., & Ormerod, D. C. (2011). Smith and Hogan’s criminal law. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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