What is the “actus reus” of murder?
Under British law, the act of murder all rests on the “actus reus” – this is the term that defines whether a killing can be classified as murder or not. The original 17th century description by Sir Edward Coke, the eminent English barrister, sums up the act of murder as: “Murder is when a man of sound memory and of the age of discretion, unlawfully killeth within any county of the realm any reasonable creature in rerum natura under the King's peace, with malice aforethought, either expressed by the party or implied by law, so as the party wounded, or hurt, etc. die of the wound or hurt, etc. within a year and a day of the same”