Murder Summary

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  • Murder
    • AR/MR
      • The AR of murder is: The unlawful killing of another human being.
        • Omissions as AR
          • The normal rule that an omission cannot be the AR of murder however there are certain exceptions.
            • A contractual duty of care is owed: case of Pittwood
            • A parental duty of care is owed: case of Gibbons & Proctor
            • A voluntary duty of care is owed: case of Stone & Dobinson
            • A duty arises where the defendant set in motion a chain of events: case of Miller
        • The phrase 'human being' does not cover an unborn foetus: case Attorney Generals Reference No. 3 of 1994
        • If a person is deaed 'brain dead' doctors are able to switch off life support and not be prosecuted; case of Malcherek
      • The Mens Rea of murder in malice aforethought or intent to cause serious harm.
        • Express malice aforethought means the D had direct intent to kill
        • Implied malice aforethought in the intention to cause GBH: this is displayed in the case of Vickers.
          • This was also confirmed in the case of Cunningham
        • Foresight of consequencs
          • Oblique intent is where the defendants intention was not to directly cause death.
          • The leading case for oblique intention is Woollin. From this case the jury could infer intention.
            • Oblique intent is where the defendants intention was not to directly cause death.
          • The case of Matthews and Alleyne has left the issue of intentiom even more blurred.
            • The COA held that Woollin only lays down a rule that evidence of foresight of consequences is not inention
          • Cases: Maloney > Hancock & Shackland > Nedrick > Woollin > Matthews & Alleyne
    • Causation
      • Legal Cause
        • Operating and substantial rule is used to find the legal casuse of death
        • The defendants   must be more than 'minimal' but it need not be the substantial cause.
        • Intervening Acts can break the chain of causation
          • Medical Treatment
            • The medical treatment must be so independent from the defendants acts it must cause death itself, this is shown by the cases of Smith, Cheshire and Jordan
          • Victims Own Acts
            • If the D causes the V to act in a forseeable way then he is liable for any injury: case of Roberts
            • If the V's acts were not foreseeable/ unreasonable then it will break the chain of causation; case of Willaims
          • A natural but unpredictable event
      • Factual Cause
        • But for test, established in the cases of Pagget & White
      • The 'Thin Skull Rule' was established in the case of Blaue. This means the defendant must take the victim as they find them.
    • Transferred Malice
      • The principles of transferred malice apply are the same when applied to murder.
      • The cases of Latimer and Mitchell display how transferred malice can happen within the law
      • Trransferred malice must be person to person not person to object as displayed by the case of Pembliton
      • The case of Gnango displays the doctrine of transferred malice within refernce to murder
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