Insanity and Automatism

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does anybody have any critical, analytical or linked points for the F154 secial studys paper that could help?

Posted: 05-12-12 19:33 by nicole

I've got model answer for sullivan

hope that helpful:)

Discuss the fairness of the case of R v Sullivan 1984 (source 2 line 11-18 and source 4 line 7-10 special study material) in developing the defence of insanity.

sullivan was charged with GBH. he had suffered an epileptic seizure and had been unaware of what he was doing. Sullivan admitted attacking V, he wished to use the defence of automatism but the judge would only allow the jury to consider the defence of insanity.  Sullivan therefore changed his plea to guilty and was convicted. This case confirmed the approach taken in Bratty 1963. Epilepsy is internal factor because it is recurring condition that can result from violence. It is classed as a disease of mind under M'Naghten rules so the appropraite defence is insanity not automatism. Lord Diplock indicated that it made no difference that epileptic seizure was intermittent and temporary conditions. This approach was subsequently applied to diabetes in Hennessy and sleepwalking in Burgess.

Sullivan disliked the stigma attached to insanity and wished to avoid detention in a special hospital that he preferred to change his plea to face conviction (source 4 line 7-9). Defendant recieved sentence of three months' probation and supervison order.  it was an approach previously used by Bratty and later adopted to both Henessy and Burgess. this seems a most infair development of the law. it seems unfair to refuse automatism to Sullivan who was unlucky enough to strike a person while suffering an epilpetic fit. However, this was considered to be fair because the law needed to protect society but it is not necessarily fair on defendant (source 2 line 14-15). Sullivan was probably innocent. He was convicted despite being unaware of his conduct and thus lacked both actus reus and mens rea for GBH. it is likely that the situation has improved with the 1991 and 2004 acts but parliament has failed so far to address the stigma associated with the defence of insanity. The law commission has proposals for including cases of epilpsy within automatism but they have not been implemented so far.

if anyone has any more notes would u please share them

Modified once, last modified by Former Member on Sat 5th January, 2013 @ 17:30

Posted: 05-01-13 17:29 by Former Member

thanks yeah thats loads of help :) ive really been struggling with this one 

Posted: 07-01-13 18:22 by nicole