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Contemporaneity rule
 (The coincidence of actus reus and mens rea)
 
 

 

 
 
It is a principle of English law that the actus reus and mens rea must coincide. That is they must happen at the same time. This is sometimes referred to as the contemporaneity rule or the coincidence of actus reus and mens rea. See:
 
 
        Edwards v Ddin (1976) 63 Cr App R 218   Case summary
 
 
 
 
However, the courts often apply a flexible approach in holding that the actus reus is a continuing act. See:


DPP v Ray [1974] AC 370       Case summary


 
Thabo-Meli v R [1954] 1 WLR 228    Case summary
 
 
 
 
 
Fagan v MPC [1969] 1Q.B. 439   Case summary

 

R v Hale [1978] 68 Cr App R 415   Case summary
 
 
 

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 Contemporaneity rule