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  • Created by: Rebeka188
  • Created on: 13-04-16 20:30
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  • a defence to an otherwise unlawful act that the accused performed it because it was necessary. 
    • Necessity
      • 1. recognised in Willer( 1986) and Conway: D fled from threatened attack, charged with reckless driving, convictions quashed by CA  recognised the defence as an excuse in cases of emergency: duress of circumstances
        • requirement for duress of circumstances:
          • 1. from the objective standpoint the accused can be said to be acting reasonably and proportionately in order to avoid a threat of death or serious injury
          • 2. jury should determine whether the accused was impelled toa ct as he did because of a reasult of what he reasonably believed to be the situation, he had good cause to fear, death or serious injury
        • Martin: driving while disqualified, threat by his wife to commit suicide - threat was not of an unlawful act of violence, allowed  upheld Conway- D must act reasonably and proportionately to avoid death or serious injury, maters not whether by murder, suicide or accident
          • Pipe(2012)!!: speeding when driving a child with broken leg - Owen J: defence of necessity potentially available on such facts and was not confined to cases in which there was a life - threatening situation(just High Court)
            • Rodger v Rose: D cannot self-induce duress, must be an extraneous threat (broke out of prison or commit suicide)
          • Pommell: extends to crimes without a victim: possession of firearm as he convinced his friend to leave it with him instead of use it for revenge killing (no chance yet to take it to the police)
      • constantly rejected
        • Dudley v Stephens: cabin boy killed
          • Buckoke v GLC: Denning denied to avail a driver of a fire engine for traffic offence
            • O'Toole: defence refused to an ambulance driver for driving without due care and attention
      • 2. necessity as justification in medical cases
        • a) to advance interest of a patient (intervention not justified if it is contrary to the known wishes of the patient
          • Re F: justified sterilisation of a mentally incompetent patient
            • Bournewood: applied Re F: man lacking mental capacity was not been unlawfully refused to leave (later HR - found a breach of his HR right but still a defence
          • Gillick: prescribing contraceptives to under aged girl lawful if it was necessary for the physical, mental and emotional health of his patient
          • Bourne: conflicting duties, doctor performing illegal abortion acquitted to save the mother becoming a mental wreck
    • Perka v Queen(Canadian case): 'Necessity covers all cases where non-compliance with the law is excused by an emergency or justified by the pursuit of some greater good'


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