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Criminal Law revision

Causation in criminal law

In result crimes (eg murder, manslaughter, ABH, GBH, Criminal damage etc) the prosecution need to establish that the result was caused by the defendant's actions. This is decided by the but for test, that is would the result have occurred but for the action of the defendant. If the action would have occurred in any event the defendant is not liable since their actions were not the cause of the result. Causation can be complicated where there is more than one cause or if an intervening action breaks the chain of causation. Key cases on causation in criminal law include R v White, R v Roberts, R v Smith, R v Jordan & R v Cheshire.