What are Actus Reus and Mens Rea?

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon
  • 708 views

Actus Reus is the guilty act part of an offence - the external element, for example kicking someone or taking something. Basically it's the thing you physically do when a crime is committed.

Mens Rea is the guilty mind part of an offence. This is the internal element and it involves what the defendant (the person who commited the offence) is thinking at the time. An example is whether the defendant intended to commit the offence or what they believed the circumstances were. 

Olivia B. A Level Law tutor, GCSE Geography tutor, Uni Admissions Tes...

About the author

is an online A Level Law tutor with MyTutor studying at Liverpool University

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok