Evaluation of Criminal Law; Unit 3 - Notes

Notes made the Nelson Thornes text book and notes given by my teacher.

Covers the evaluation section of the course; Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter (Diminished Responsibility, Provocation and Loss of Control), The Offences Against the Person (Assault, Battery, ABH, GBH and Wounding) and the Defences (Insanity, Automatism, Intoxication, Consent and Self-Defence)

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Offences Against The Person Evaluation
Ministry of Justice asked Law Commission to undertake scoping paper for 2013
Offences Against The Person Act 1861
Criminal Justice Act 19898
Already done in 1993 (Bill was drafted)
Main Issues:
Out Of Date
Malicious: Ordinary meaning = spiteful/Legal meaning = Intention and Reckless? (Cunningham)
Grievous: Ordinary meaning = Not really used... /Legal meaning = Really/serious harm
(Saunders) (Smith)
Assault: Ordinary meaning = attack/Legal meaning = Apprehending violence? (Smith)
Change for change sake or is it actually useful?
Bodily Injury: Ordinary meaning = injury to the flesh/Legal meaning = Injuries in and out of the
body... What does it involve? (Chan Fook)
Inflict/Cause: Inflict sounds more viscous than cause, yet cause is the more viscous offence?
Mens Rea: Common Assault and ABH have the same MR despite being different offences?
Sentence: Inflict GBH and Causing ABH both have a 5 months despite the harm ranging from
cutting a girls hair to really serious harm (Smith) (Smith)
OAPA / CJA = Offences spread out over two acts?
Out of Date:
Wounding: Can include any injuries that breaks both layers of the skin? Even though the CPS
would never follow it nowadays (Eisenhower)
Impeding a Person Endeavouring to Save Himself From Shipwreck (s17 OAPA) is clearly out
of date as we no longer travel by ship

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Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter Evaluation
Mens Rea
Intending GBH or Murder? Same sentence regardless of what you intended? (Vickers)
Life Sentence
Various degrees of murder: Ruthless murder and mercy killings, but same sentence? (Gray)
(Mohan) (Dianne Pretty)
Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965 = Kill cold heartedly and be killed yourself?
Someone forced to kill another should be punished for cold hearted murder? Make duress a
defence to murder (it currently isn't a defence)
Voluntary Mansalughter
Provocation/Loss of Control
Loss of Control…read more

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The law commission have made a scoping paper to see how the defence of insanity is working, if it all
as it is based on 19th century law. There are also several issues with the defence of consent and how
it really works in a world where people regularly consent to various forms of harm.…read more


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