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Definition
· Automatism was defined in Bratty v AG for NI
(1963):
` an act done by muscles without any control of the
mind, such as a spasm, a reflex action or
convulsion; or an act done by a person who is not
conscious of what he is doing such as an act done
whilst suffering from concussion or whilst sleep-
walking.'…read more

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Insane automatism
· This is where the cause of automatism is a
disease of the mind within the M'Naghten
rules. It may be easy to see why this causes
problems with over lapping with the defence
of insanity.…read more

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Non-insane automatism
· This is when the actus reus is done involuntary
and the does not have the mens rea of the
offence.
· The cause of automatism must be from an
external cause such as:
· A blow to a head
· An attack by a swarm of bees
· Sneezing
· Hypnosis
· An effect from a drug…read more

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Hill v Baxter (1958)- shows the concept of no
fault
· R v T (1990)- accepted that exceptional stress
can be an external factor which may cause
automatism
· AG Ref (No2 of 1992) (1993)-showed that
partial loss of control was not sufficient to
constitute to non-insane automatism.…read more

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Self induced automatism
This is where the D is aware that they are likely to become in an
automatic state through their actions.
Bailey (1983) set out the rules of self induced automatism:
for specific intent crimes the defence is available. This is
because D lacks the required mens rea
for basic intent there are a set of rules:
­ if D is reckless in getting in an automatic state there is no defence
­ if D became voluntarily intoxicated the defence is not available
Majewski (1997)
­ if D was unaware that they would become in an automatic state then
there is a defence. Hardie (1984)…read more

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