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(Defendant Name) may be able to claim the defence of insanity. The criteria for this defence is set by case law;
M'Naughten rules states that at the time of committing the act, "the party accused was labouring under such a
defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or, if he
did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong."
The first element is defect of reasoning, meaning the defendant's powers of reasoning must be impaired, based on
an inability to use powers of reasoning not merely a failure to do so. Temporary confusion or absent mindedness does
not amount to a defect of reason (Clarke (1972). In this case, (Defendant's name) clearly shows that his ability to
reason was impaired therefore suffices this element.
The second element 'disease of the mind' is a legal definition not a medical one. The law is concerned whether the
defendant can be held liable for his act, not his medical condition. A disease of mind must be a physical one, not
brought on by external factors, eg drugs. No express definition, case law has developed meaning.
-Temporary insanity may be sufficient (Kemp (1957)).
-Source of the disease is irrelevant (Sullivan (1984)).
-Sleep disorders may amount to insanity (Burgess (1991)).
The final element is that it must be proven that D either did not know the nature/quality of his conduct, or that D
knew what he was doing, but did not know it was legally wrong.
It is (not) likely that (D) will be able to prove his insanity, and will be deemed "not guilty by reason of insanity", and
be given a special verdict.
(Defendant's Name) may be able to claim the defence of automatism. Lord Denning in Bratty defined automatism as
"an act done by the muscles without any control of the mind." There are two elements of this defence. The first is
that D must have experienced a total loss of voluntary control.(AG ref no2 1992) If D exercised any voluntary control,
he will not be able to claim the defence. In this case, (Defendant's Name) (App->)
The second element of automatism is that this loss of control must be caused by an external factor. (Quick)
(Defendant's Name)'s loss of control (was caused by these/did not derive from) external factors and (he/she) would
therefore be (not) allowed the defence of automatism.
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(Defendant Name) may attempt to use the defence of consent. For this defence to succeed, the consent must be
both valid and informed. For consent to be valid, the victim must be deemed to have the capacity to consent.
Children and those suffering from mental illness are not able to give valid consent. V must know the nature and
quality of the act they are consenting to; meaning that they must be aware of what exactly they are consenting to.…read more