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CONTENTS
Contents of Law 03 03
Murder ­ Key Concepts 04 05
Voluntary Manslaughter
The Special Defences
Diminished Responsibility 06 08
Provocation 08 09
Involuntary Manslaughter
Gross Negligence Manslaughter 10
Unlawful Act Manslaughter 11
The General Defences
Insanity 12
Automatism 12 14
Intoxication: voluntary and involuntary 15 16
Selfdefence & Prevention of crime 17
The Effect of Mistake 17
Mistake and Intoxication 17
Table of Offences 18
The Essay Question 20
2…read more

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AQA LAW UNIT 3 - CRIMINAL LAW or CONTRACT LAW
Written Paper: 1 hour 30 minutes
Weighting: 25% of total of A Level marks
Candidates must answer one three-part question on either Criminal Law
(Offences against the Person) or Contract
Total marks available = 80 (including 5 marks for QWC)
Section A Criminal Law (Fatal and nonfatal offences)
Murder Actus reus (including causation), mens rea (malice aforethought).
Voluntary Defences of provocation and diminished responsibility.…read more

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CRIMINAL OFFENCES ­ FATAL
In this unit we are studying criminal offences against the person that end in the death of the
victim. These are called homicides.
Homicide is the unlawful killing of a human being. We are studying three kinds of homicide:
murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter.
MURDER ­ Key Concepts
1. Murder is a form of homicide. Homicide is the unlawful killing of a human being.
2. Murder is a common law offence.…read more

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The THIN SKULL rule. The defendant cannot use the defence that he did not know or
could not know that the victim had a special vulnerability that contributed to his/her death or
injury. The defendant must take the victim as he finds him/her. BLAUE (1975).
9. The DOCTRINE OF TRANSFERRED MALICE carries full intention. If the defendant
tried to injury or kill A, but `accidentally' killed B, then his intention towards A (specific or basic
intent) will carried in full towards B.
10.…read more

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VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER
THE SPECIAL DEFENCES TO MURDER
1) DIMINISHED RESPONSIBILITY
2) PROVOCATION
3) SUICIDE PACT
THE DEFENCE OF DIMINISHED RESPONSIBILITY
The defence of diminished responsibility was introduced by the Homicide Act 1957 as a partial
defence to the charge of murder. It was introduced because the defence of insanity was thought
to be too narrow. For example, a woman suffering from postnatal depression, while clearly not
insane, might behave in a way we'd accept as mentally abnormal.…read more

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In R v Byrne (1960), the court accepted that Byrne's sexual psychopathy was an abnormality
of mind that substantially impaired the defendant's mental responsibility for his act and the court
accepted his defence of diminished responsibility.
The key legal concept here is: `a state of mind so different from that of ordinary human beings
that the reasonable man would take it as abnormal.'
DIMINISHED RESPONSIBILITY and INTOXICATION
Imagine that Byrne had been drunk (intoxicated) when he strangled his victim.…read more

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THE DEFENCE OF PROVOCATION
There are three special defences to the charge of murder. These defences are: provocation,
diminished responsibility and suicide pact. These defences were introduced in the Homicide
Act 1957 because it was felt that the charge of murder might be unfair and harsh in some
circumstances. It is important to remember that the special defences are partial defences they
do not acquit the defendant of the charge but reduce it to voluntary manslaughter.…read more

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Mrs Thornton's charge was reduced to voluntary manslaughter in 1996 and she
was released.
Therefore, the jury may accept the final act of provocation before the fatal assault was `the last
straw' in a series of provocative attacks that culminated in the homicide. This is especially likely
in `battered wives' cases such as Thornton (1996).…read more

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The significance of Holley (2005) is that alcoholism will NOT be regarded as a characteristic
that can be taken into consideration when provocation is alleged.
This confirms Camplin (1978) that while age and sex can be taken into consideration when
deciding whether the defendant behaved with the ordinary level of control expected from a
reasonable man, alcoholism cannot.
The victim's taunt "You haven't got the guts," is NOT sufficient justification for the defendant's
reaction....…read more

Comments

rumzan

nice


Smith E

A long resource but worth working through. Compare and contrast against your own notes and determine what you are missing. Note that the section on insanity is now outdated but the cases still stand for illustrative purposes. 

Olivia-Amy

Thanks for this! Got to do some research on murder and this really helped.

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