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Gross Negligence Manslaughter

Very different to UDAM in that the D hasn't initially committed a crime
Can be an act or an omission
Common law ­ maximum life sentence
Linked to negligence in civil law, even though civil and criminal law are
very different
Adomako is the leading GNM case…

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4) The breach was so gross it's criminal
The negligence has to be gross (very bad). The jury decide whether its gross ­
very little guidance is given to the jury
Deciding if something is gross is a legal matter ­ the jury should only be
considering factual issues

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COA said that Adomako is clear. The test in GNM involves consideration of the
risk of death. It's not sufficient to show a risk of bodily injury/injury to health ­
must be death. The term `risk' overlaps with reckless manslaughter
Has to cause death ­ factual test (but for),…

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Reform of GNM
1996 Law Commission Report
2 categories were proposed:
1. Reckless Killing
Ds aware that his conduct will cause death/GBH and it's unreasonable to take
that risk having regard to the circumstances as he believes them to be
2. Killing by Gross Carelessness
Risk of death/GBH is obvious…

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Criticisms of GNM
Juries are often more reluctant to convict professionals
Jury are deciding a legal point ­ what is gross? Little guidance is given
as to what gross means. Also referred to as the circular test, jury are
directed to convict of a crime if they think the conduct…


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