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M'Naghten Rules (1843)
· The M'Nagtehn Rules set out the rules for
insanity:
`everyman is presumed to be sane and to possess a
sufficient degree of reason to be responsible for
his crimes.'…read more

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Definition of insanity
The defendant must be :
`labouring under such a defect of reason, from
disease of the mind, as not to know the nature or
the quality of the act, or if he did know it, that he
did not know he was doing what was wrong.'
the burden of proof is on the defence who prove on
a balance of probabilities.
Insanity would then provide a full defence…read more

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Defect of reason
· Clarke (1972) shows that a defect of reason
must be more than a state of `absent-
mindedness' or confusion…read more

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Disease of the mind
· `defect of reason' is a legal term rather than a medical term.
· The disease can be either physical or psychological as long as it
affects the mind.
· Kemp (1956)- D suffered from a physical disease (hardening of
the arteries) however this affected his mental faculties so was
allowed the defence of insanity
· Sullivan (1984)- is another example to show that the disease can
be of any part of the body as long as it is the cause of the defect
of reason
· Hennessy (1989)- shows high blood sugar levels because of
diabetes to come under the definition of insanity
· Burgess (1991)- is a case example to show that sleep-walking may
also come under this definition so long as it is caused by a disease
of the mind.…read more

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External Factors
· Where the D does not know what he is doing for a
reason other than a disease of the mind, insanity
cannot be used as a defence.
· Quick (1973)- D had taken insulin but had not
eaten enough, which led to low blood sugar levels
affecting his brain. It was held that the insulin had
caused the defect of reasoning rather than the
disease of the mind and was therefore an
external cause, meaning that D could not use the
defence of insanity.…read more

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