Contents 2 Introduction 3 gce law H534 – Criminal Law G153 5 gce law H534 – Criminal Law G153 9 gce law H534 – Criminal Law G153 10 gce law H534 – Criminal Law

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Support Material


OCR Advanced GCE in Law: H534

Unit: G153

This Support Material booklet is designed to accompany the OCR Advanced GCE specification in Law for teaching from September 2008.


Contents 2

Introduction 3

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 5

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 9

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 10

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 12

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 18

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 20

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 22

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 24

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 28

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 29

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 31

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153 33

Sample Lesson Plan: GCE Law (H534): Criminal Law (G153) 35

Other forms of Support 38



A new structure of assessment for A Level has been introduced, for first teaching from September 2008. Some of the changes include:

  • The introduction of stretch and challenge (including the new A* grade at A2) – to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to reach their full potential

  • The reduction or removal of coursework components for many qualifications – to lessen the volume of marking for teachers

  • A reduction in the number of units for many qualifications – to lessen the amount of assessment for learners

  • Amendments to the content of specifications – to ensure that content is up-to-date and relevant.

OCR has produced an overview document, which summarises the changes to Law. This can be found at, along with the new specification.

In order to help you plan effectively for the implementation of the new specification we have produced this Scheme of Work and Sample Lesson Plans for Law. These Support Materials are designed for guidance only and play a secondary role to the Specification.

Our Ethos

All our Support Materials were produced ‘by teachers for teachers’ in order to capture real life current teaching practices and they are based around OCR’s revised specifications. The aim is for the support materials to inspire teachers and facilitate different ideas and teaching practices.

Each Scheme of Work and set of sample Lesson Plans is provided in:

  • PDF format – for immediate use

  • Word format – so that you can use it as a foundation to build upon and amend the content to suit your teaching style and students’ needs.

The Scheme of Work and sample Lesson plans provide examples of how to teach this unit and the teaching hours are suggestions only. Some or all of it may be applicable to your teaching.

The Specification is the document on which assessment is based and specifies what content and skills need to be covered in delivering the course. At all times, therefore, this Support Material booklet should be read in conjunction with the Specification. If clarification on a particular point is sought then that clarification should be found in the Specification itself.

A Guided Tour through the Scheme of Work

GCE Law H534 – Criminal Law G153

This is merely a suggestion as to the order of topics to be covered and also includes a more detailed explanation of the content.

Suggested teaching time

Weeks 1-4


Principles of criminal liability

Topic outline

Suggested teaching and homework activities

Suggested resources

Points to note

The nature of the course and exam; overview of specification and an introduction to liability in criminal law.

  • Explanation of a teacher produced course handbook and weekly scheme of work to give an overview.

  • Recommendation of relevant textbook (available from the OCR website)

  • Explanation of the skills which will be developed during the year.

  • Discussion based on discovering the meaning of criminal conduct and the reasons why laws are imposed by the State to regulate conduct.

  • Details of OCR website

  • and information available about the specification, including specimen papers and support materials e.g. internet

  • Specimen examination papers and past paper questions as appropriate.

  • Teacher provided resources based on media news clips or a well known case.

  • This introduction comprises an overview and an opportunity to show the student the importance of this area of law in everyday life. It also offers an opportunity to revise the place of criminal law within society and English Legal System and the general principles which underlie its existence.

  • Encourage debating and discussion skills and reinforce group co-operation and interaction.

Actus Reus – Factual causation.

Definition and need for proof of a positive act;

Actus Reus – the conduct element - basic principle-crime needs an actus reus; without it there is no need to go further.

  • Introduction to the principles of causation.

  • Factual causation principles tested by mini problem scenarios based on R v White; R v Lewis; Dalloway etc.

  • Reading of relevant text e.g.

  • J. Martin or Storey & Lidbury

  • Internet tasks

  • Teacher notes / handouts / textbook

  • Data projector / interactive whiteboard

  • Internet – law report sites if access possible

  • (if subscribed)



  • Causation is a key topic. It could appear in an exam as an essay topic but it is more likely that exam candidates will have to apply the principles of causation in problem questions, typically, but not exclusively, to homicide problems.

Actus Reus

Aspects of legal causation.

Chain of causation and tests used to prove its existence such as ‘but for’ test, ‘operative and substantial cause of harm’ test, ‘thin skull’ test, principles relating to foreseeability’.

  • Teacher information using factual causation and White as a starting point in every case.

  • Emphasis on critical additional ingredient of ‘Legal Causation’

  • Assignment – Analysis of Pagett to demonstrate Prof. Griew’s illustration that a contributory factual connection is essential but not decisive.

  • Investigation, research of relevant principles of legal causation through case law followed by feedback through discussion /presentation :

  1. de minimis – Kimsey

  2. V’s own actions – Roberts; Williams & Davies; Dear etc,

  3. Medical negligence – Jordan; Smith; Cheshire

  4. ‘Thin skull’ – Holland; Blaue

  • 15 minute test – use key facts to stimulate case names and principles of law.

  • Teacher notes / handouts / textbook

  • Data projector / interactive whiteboard

  • Internet – law report sites if access possible

  • (if subscribed)



  • It may well be appropriate at this early stage in the course to emphasise that essay writing skills and problem solving skills will be expected to reflect a higher level of development in A2 law when compared with AS studies.

  • An essay writing template along the lines of an introduction, main body, and a conclusion would reinforce this skill at this point.

  • Equally causation problem scenarios can be introduced to develop problem solving skills.

  • The teacher can reassure students who will not yet know about the elements of offences by creating hypothetical scenarios closely related to the cases on causation which they have been investigating.

  • Students might be encouraged to find out what Jehovah’s witnesses believe.

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