ILE prep - Introduction to Anglo-American Legal Systems...

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Introduction to Anglo-American Legal Systems Revision Questions 2004 1. Compare the adversarial and inquisitorial systems. Adversarial Inquisitorial still some jury trials Always a single judge, sometimes supported by two jurors case is decided upon an hour- or day-long trial judicial questions explained to the jury Often adjournments of the trials preparation by counsel very important everything decided in one session Parties can try to establish new evidence after an adjournment for a new session Counsel knows the witnesses beforehand develops a strategy Counsel is not allowed to influence the witnesses beforehand Judge can rely on the barrister to inform him about important facts and precedents; Judge finds the facts upon the evidence presented and decides upon them Judge has to inform himself No duty to seek out “independent truth” Apply existing laws Lawyers lead the trials, the judge mostly listens (“The judge who opens his mouth closes his mind”) Judge leads the trial and asks the most questions Every party has its own expert witness The court hires one independent expert witness discovery feature: observe other party’s evidence beforehand / 2. Explain the role of counsel in examination in chief and cross examination. Examination in chief: have your witness reveal the information you need, non-leading/open questions Cross examination: question the credibility of the other side’s witness, establish control over witness by leading/ closed questions 3. Define actus reus and mens rea with regard to murder. Actus reus of murder: unlawful killing/ homicide Mens rea of murder: two questions: 1 Was it virtually certain he was causing death? 2 Did he appreciate this fact? 4. Distinguish between causation in fact and law ( novus actus interveniens ). Causation in fact: would the victim have died but for the d’s actions? Sine qua non test. Example: R v White [1910]; D placed poison in a glass containing his mother’s drink; she drank the contents but died of heart failure before the poison could take effect → victim would have died anyway; causation in fact is not established. Causation in law: 1 Was the D’s action the substantial and operative cause of death? Example: R v Smith [1959]: D had stabbed the victim with a bayonet, resulting in the victim being taken to a medical post where he died one hour later. D claimed the chain of causation between the stabbing and the death had been broken by the victim’s rough medical treatment. The court found that D’s act was to be regarded 1
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as operating and substantial cause of the victim’s death which can therefore be regarded as cause in law (not merely as providing the setting). 2 Medical treatment as novus actus interveniens
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ILE prep - Introduction to Anglo-American Legal Systems...

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