Unlawful and Dangerous Act Manslaughter A2 Law OCR G153

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  • Created on: 06-06-14 10:17
Preview of Unlawful and Dangerous Act Manslaughter A2 Law OCR G153

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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
Maximum sentence is life but the judge has wide sentencing powers and D
could avoid prison
Unlawful and Dangerous Act Manslaughter (UDAM)
This is where D commits a crime and death results e.g. D pushes V, V falls over
and hits their head and dies
The case of Larkin set out the 3 elements of UDAM:
1) There must be the actus reus and mens rea of an unlawful act
2) The unlawful act must be dangerous
3) The act must cause death
1) There must be an unlawful act
The prosecution must prove the actus reus and mens rea of an unlawful act, it
can't be an omission. It has to be a positive act, as established in the case of
Lowe: where D failed to feed his child this was GNM not UDAM
The unlawful act can be quite minor e.g. pushing someone
It must be a criminal wrong and not a civil matter i.e. D must commit a crime

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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 it not serious harm'
Key Points
Objective Test ­ not concerned with what D thought
Risk of some harm only
Harm? ­ Physical or Fear?
3) The unlawful dangerous act must cause death
Normal rules of…read more

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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 revolver which they believed to be safe. D
pulled the trigger and the gun fired a bullet which hit and killed his friend.…read more

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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.…read more

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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 station attendant managed to sound the
alarm but then dropped dead from the heart attack.…read more

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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 not the physical harm that caused the death. A reasonable person would
not see a risk of some harm from assaulting a 15 year old and her running away.…read more

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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 queue at the Post Office and got into a fight with an old
man. The old man fell against an even older women who broke her hip and
then died during the routine operation.…read more

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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 must intend to cause injury or
be aware that the act involved a serious risk of injury.…read more


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