Criminal Law - Murder

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  • Murder
    • Actus Reus
      • Unlawful
        • Self defence, in war; pallative care
      • Of a person in being
        • When does life begin?
          • Poulton (1832)
          • When does life end?
            • Malcherek; Steel [1981] 2 All ER 422
            • NHS Trust v Bland [1993]
      • Killing
        • D must actually cause V's death (act or omission and normal causation rules apply
    • Where D has the intention to kill/do GBH, the appropriate charge is murder
      • Where D kills, but does not have the intention to kill/do GBH, there are two possible charges:-
        • Gross negligence manslaughter
          • These two types of manslaughter are known as “involuntary manslaughter”
        • Unlawful act manslaughter.
          • These two types of manslaughter are known as “involuntary manslaughter”
    • Murder is when a person unlawfully kills a reasonable person who is in being under the King’s/Queen’s Peace (Sir Edward Coke in the 1600s).
    • Mens Rea
      • With malice afterthought
      • Intention to kill or cause GBH
        • DPP v Smith 1961
        • Meaning of Intention
          • Direct
            • R v Nedrick [1986]
          • Indirect/Oblique
            • R v Woollin [1999]
    • Defences
      • Diminished Reponsibility
        • s.52 Coroners and Justice Act 2009
          • A person (“D”) who kills or is a party to the killing of another is not to be convicted of murder if D was suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning which—
            • (a) Arose from a recognised medical condition
              • (1A)Those things are—
                • (a) to understand the nature of D's conduct;
                • (b) to form a rational judgment
                • (c) to exercise self-control.
            • (b) substantially impaired D's ability to do one or more of the things mentioned in subsection (1A), and
              • (1A)Those things are—
                • (a) to understand the nature of D's conduct;
                • (b) to form a rational judgment
                • (c) to exercise self-control.
            • (c) provides an explanation for D's acts and omissions in doing or being a party to the killing.
        • Suicide Pact
        • Loss of Self-Control
          • s.54 CJA 2009
            • 1(a) D's acts and omissions in doing or being a party to the killing resulted from D's loss of self-control,
              • 1(b) the loss of self-control had a qualifying trigger, and
                • s.55 CJA 2009 Meaning of “Qualifying Trigger”
                  • (1)This section applies for the purposes of section 54.
                  • (2)A loss of self-control had a qualifying trigger if subsection (3), (4) or (5) applies.
                    • (3)This subsection applies if D's loss of self-control was attributable to D's fear of serious violence from V against D or another identified person.
                    • (4)This subsection applies if D's loss of self-control was attributable to a thing or things done or said (or both) which—
                      • (a) constituted circumstances of an extremely grave character, and
                      • (b) caused D to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged.
                    • (5)This subsection applies if D's loss of self-control was attributable to a combination of the matters mentioned in subsections (3) and (4).
                • (c) a person of D's sex and age, with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint and in the circumstances of D, might have reacted in the same or in a similar way to D.
        • Where D successfully pleads one of these, the conviction is reduced to “voluntary manslaughter.”
    • s.54 CJA 2009
      • 1(a) D's acts and omissions in doing or being a party to the killing resulted from D's loss of self-control,
        • 1(b) the loss of self-control had a qualifying trigger, and
          • s.55 CJA 2009 Meaning of “Qualifying Trigger”
            • (1)This section applies for the purposes of section 54.
            • (2)A loss of self-control had a qualifying trigger if subsection (3), (4) or (5) applies.
              • (3)This subsection applies if D's loss of self-control was attributable to D's fear of serious violence from V against D or another identified person.
              • (4)This subsection applies if D's loss of self-control was attributable to a thing or things done or said (or both) which—
                • (a) constituted circumstances of an extremely grave character, and
                • (b) caused D to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged.
              • (5)This subsection applies if D's loss of self-control was attributable to a combination of the matters mentioned in subsections (3) and (4).
          • (c) a person of D's sex and age, with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint and in the circumstances of D, might have reacted in the same or in a similar way to D.

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