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Knowledge, Recklessness and the Connection Requirement Between Mens Rea and Actus Reus

Sarch, Alexander (2015) Knowledge, Recklessness and the Connection Requirement Between Mens Rea and Actus Reus Penn State Law Review, 120(1). pp. 1-51.

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It is a foundational, but underappreciated principle of criminal liability that being guilty of a crime requires not only possessing the requisite mens rea and actus reus, but that this mens rea also be appropriately connected to the actus reus. That is, the former must concur with or "actuate" the latter. While there has been much discussion of the connection requirement as applied to the mens rea of intent, its meaning as applied to knowledge and recklessness has received far less attention. In this paper, I consider one of the few sophisticated attempts to spell out the requirement as applied to knowledge and recklessness — namely, the counterfactual approach offered by Ken Simons. However, I argue that this sort of approach faces problems. In its place, I defend a different kind of approach to the connection requirement — one that does not rely on counterfactual tests, but rather places normative questions front and center.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Law
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Date : 26 January 2015
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2015 Penn State University
Uncontrolled Keywords : mens rea, actus reus, concurrence, culpability, intention, knowledge, recklessness, latent belief
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:37
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 15:07

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