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Involuntary Manslaughter

Manslaughter is a charge ­ it involves an unlawful killing of a human being but
there's no malice aforethought i.e. there's a death but no intent to kill or cause
Common law based ­ undemocratic, can cause uncertainty but is flexible and
the can be easily changed…

Page 2

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2) The unlawful act must be dangerous
The meaning of dangerous comes from the case of Church (the Church test)
`The unlawful act must be such as all sober and reasonable people inevitably
recognise must subject the other person to at least the risk of some harm
therefrom, all be…

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D must have committed an unlawful act
Sometimes it can be difficult to establish and unlawful act. If the prosecution
can't prove the actus reus and mens rea of an unlawful act then D can't be
found guilty of UDAM
D and his friend were playing with a…

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The issue of drugs
The following cases show how uncertain the law has become and emphasises
the problem with common law. There are likely to be further appeals on the
The courts will try and punish the drug dealers but they appear to recognise
that the victim has free…

Page 5

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The unlawful act must be dangerous
The Church test says that there must be a risk of some harm to a reasonable
man and that harm is physical harm
3 defendants attempted to rob a petrol station. They were masked and armed
with pick axe handles. The petrol…

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Church test has been extended; it appears that harm may well now include
The defendants made fun of V and pulled her hair and punched her in the face.
V ran off, collapsed and died. She had a heart condition. The manslaughter
conviction was quashed
It was…

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COA said that the supplying of the drug had not caused Vs death. It was the
injection that caused the death; since this was a voluntary act by V, it broke
the chain of causation
The unlawful act must be directed at the victim
D tried to jump the…

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Criminal act manslaughter
Killing another person:
a) Through the commission of a criminal act intended by D to cause injury
b) Through the commission of a criminal act that D was aware involved a
serious risk of causing some injury
D could only be convicted on a subjective test. D…


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