Diminished responsibility

Diminished responsibility! S2 (1)

  • Coroners and Justice Act 2009!
  • a) D has an abnormality of mental functioning (Byrne 1960) caused by a recognised medical condition which:
  • b) Substantially impaired D's ability to: i) exercise self-control (Byrne 1960), form a rational judgement or know the nature of his conduct and
  • c) this provides an explanation as to D's conduct in doing or being a party to the killing. The abnormality must be the substantial cause of the killing.
  • Intoxication alone is not a defence (Di Duca 1959), if D is intoxicated but has abnormality of mental functioning which substantially impaired his mental responsbility for his acts in doing the killing. Hendy (2006) - underlying brain damage, Robson (2006)- underlying stress disorder
  • Tandy(1989) ADS is a recognised medical condition, Wood (2008)
  • Stewart(2009) a) was D suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning? b) was the abnormality caused by ads? c) if so was d's mental responsibilty substantially impaired.
  • Reform of law- reformed in the 2009 act which modernised the law so it could take into account change in medical knowledge. The definition sets out clearly what aspects of D's mental functioning must be substantially impaired for the defence to succeed.
  • Problems remaining- Burden of Proof,developmental immaturity!
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