Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter (Special Defences to Murder)

My notes (a distinctly shortened version of them!) for: Murder (Actus Reus, Mens Rea, A02 points etc) and Voluntary Manslaughter (Diminished Responsiblity, Provocation etc)

More will be up soon on other areas of law, i.e. non fatal, property offences etc. Just have to type them!

Please comment or message me if you spot any mistakes as I'd like to know if I've been revising the wrong thing!!!

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  • Created by: Vixxx92
  • Created on: 17-05-11 20:09

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3) Murder and Defences to Murder (Voluntary Manslaughter)

What is Murder?
Murder is a common law offence- it has not been defined by any act of parliament
The generally accepted definition is from the 17th century one given by Lord Coke: altered only slightly to take into account the Law…

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o We are all considered to be `under the queens peace' in law unless we are an enemy of the state in war (not a PoW)
R v Page (1954) ­ D stationed in Egypt during the Suez Crisis and killed a native in a bar fight. In battle would…

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Discuss Fred's liability for the murder of John.

Voluntary Manslaughter
Occurs where there is use of one of the so called `special' defences to murder
These are not complete defences: they reduce the conviction from one of murder to manslaughter
They are: Diminished Responsibility and Provocation, and are laid out…

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This defence becomes more complicated when mixed with the issue of intoxication:
Intoxication alone ­ not diminished responsibility
Intoxication and a pre existing abnormality of mind :
R v Gittens (1984) ­ D suffered from depression and had medication for this problem. One night he drank a lot and took…

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It does not necessarily have to be aimed at the D himself:
R v Davies (1975) ­ Found out wife was having an affair, taunted by the lover and so provoked in to killing wife. Appeal was rejected but
CoA stated obiter that provocation could come from 3rd parties and…

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AO2 Points on the Law of Provocation
s3 of the Homicide Act does not explain properly what can amount to provocation except for saying `by things done or by things said or by both
THEREFORE by way of statutory interpretation things done or said has been given an extremely…


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