Defences in Criminal Law 1

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  • Defences in Criminal Law 1
    • Defences: For consideration..
      • Consent
      • Necessity
      • Insanity
      • Duress
      • Automatism
      • Mistake
      • Intoxication
    • Mistake
      • Only effective where it prevents D formoing mens rea
      • Where successful, provides complete defence
      • Honest Mistake
        • Mistake of civil or criminal law irrelevant if all elements of office satisfied
        • Mistake of civil law will provide defence where it prevents D from forming mens rea
      • Mistake of Fact
        • Honest mistake will usually be sufficient
          • Statutory exceptions e.g. Sexual Offences Act 2003
        • Why has D made mistake?
          • If because of intoxication- intoxication rules apply
          • If because of defect of reason from disease of mind- insanity
        • Where D makes mistake of fact that prevents him forming mens rea he will escape liability
    • Duress
      • D has committed offence but seeks to be acquitted because of threats- duress does not negative any elements of offence, nor act involuntary
      • Successful plea of duress provides complete defence
      • General defence to all crimes except murder and attempted murder
      • Requirements
        • Was D impelled to act as he did because he reasonably believed that if he did not do so, he, or his family or someone close to him, or a person whose safety D might reasonably regard himself responsible for, would be killed or suffer serious physical injury?
          • If so, would a sober person of reasonable firmness sharing the same characteristics of D have responded as D did?
      • Subjective Test
        • Threat of death or serious personal injury
        • Imminent threat which cannot be avoided and is operative at the tine of commission of offence
      • Objective Test
        • Characteristics of D


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