Involuntary Manslaughter (Gross Negligence and Unlawful Act)

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  • Involuntary Manslaughter
    • Gross Negligence Manslaughter
      • arises when a D causes a death to the V but does not mean to and does not accept the responsibility for a murder with the accompanying MR
      • Not found in statute as it is common law
        • It can be an omission or an act
        • MR: the D does not have to intend to kill or cause GBH. The D is judge off their behaviour and not by their state of mind
      • Four Elements: duty of care, breach in the duty, the breach is gross and there behaviour has to be a risk of death
        • Duty of care: 'a person who are so closely and directly affected by my actions (Donohue v Stevenson)
        • Breach in the duty of care: is measured to be the standard expected of a reasonable, competent person. This may be adjusted to take into account charcteristics such as a learner, or a child or a professional
        • Gross breach: established that the degree of negligence required to amount to a manslaughter must be far greater than that in civil cases. For the negligence for criminal cases it has to answer the question 'Does the conduct show such disregard for the life and safety of other?'
        • Risk of death: is an objective test E.g. Stone & Dobinson 'risk to health and welfare' or Bateman 'risk of the life and safety of others
      • Leading case is Adamako
    • Unlawful Act Manslaughter
      • Four Elements: unlawful act, dangerous act, cause of the death and the MR for the unlawful act
        • Unlawful Act: there must be an unlawful act, the act must be criminal and not a civil wrong and there must be an unlawful positive intentional act, not an omission
        • Dangerous Act: whether the D's actions are dangerous are assessed objectively, which means that it is irrelevany if the D didn't believe it was dangerous
          • The dangerous act is assessed using the case of Church and the dangerous act may not be aimed at a victim and the dangerous act may not have been aimed at a person
        • Causing the death: it is a crime to administer a noxious substance
        • MR: the MR is for the unlawful act committed not the consequence of the unlawful act


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