Law Unit 3

  • Created by: KDallers-
  • Created on: 01-06-18 12:27


Murder was defined by Lord Coke in the 17th century as:

'The unlawful killing of a reasonable creature in being under the Queen's Peace with malice aforethought, express or implied'


- unlawful killing - 'prima facie' unlawful (depends on defences) - killing must be SHOWN in scenario - D must die - can be an act or an omission (if in exceptions)

- Queen's Peace and reasonable creature - not in wartime, and a human being - obvious - THEN DO CAUSATION with thin skull (Blaue) and novus actuses if applicable (Roberts, Cheshire)


- express malice - intention to kill; - implied malice - intention to cause gbh (serious harm - Vickers)

- direct intention - Mohan - a decision to bring about the prohibited consequence

- indirect intent - Woollin - virtual certainty test - if D can foresee that death or serious injury was virtually certain as a result of his act or omission, the jury can prove intention - ONLY A TEST OF EVIDENCE, not of law - Matthews and Alleyne

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DR is set out in s2 of the Homicide Act 1957 (as amended) - burden on D, on a balance of probabilities

Abnormality of mental functioning (AMF) - defined in Byrne - 'a state of mind so different from that of an ordinary human that the reasonable man would term it abnormal' - APPLY

Recognised medical condition (RMC) - must be the reason for AMF - can be schizophrenia, depression, ADS (Stewart) or BWS (Hobson)

Substantially impairs D's ability to - either: - form a rational judgement, - understand the nature of his conduct, - exercise self-control - only 1 needs to be provenLloyd - 'the impairment must be somewhere between trivial and total'

Causal connection - between the AMF and D's act in killing - it must explain why D did the act - will be in the scenario

INTOX rules - if you get drunk, no DR (Dowds) - if have an AMF that is exacerbated by intoxication, allowed - Dietschmann - alcohol dependency syndrome is also allowed as an RMC - Stewart

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LoC set out in s54 of the Coroners' and Justice Act 2009 - burden on D on BoP                                                           1) Loss of self control - D must lose self control due to acts leading up to the death - can be cumulative; time-lapse can be considered by the jury - Ahluwalia

2) Qualifying triggers in s55 - a) 'fear' trigger - if D fears serious violence from V or another - ie domestic violence, burglary;

b) 'anger' trigger - 'things said or done (or both) constituting circumstances of an extremely grave character and which give D a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged' - apply this to the scenario

NB if act is in a 'considered desire for revenge' - trigger not satisfied - Ibrams and Gregory - furthermore, sexual infidelity cannot be used as a qualifying trigger, but the jury can take it into account - Clinton

3) Normal person test - when assessing D's ability to exercise self-control, only D's age and sex are relevant - shown by cases of Camplin and Holleyan objective test

HOWEVER - s54 shows that if the normal person would have reacted in the same way as D 'in the same circumstances' as D, then these can be taken into account - more subjective - Gregson and Hill

Ultimately, must be asked would the reasonable person have reacted in the same way - Van Dongen

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4 elements to UAM

1) D must do an unlawful act - this must be a criminal act (Franklin); omissions do not suffice (Lowe)

2) D must have the mens rea for the act - the regular mens rea rules apply - essentially - DO THE OFFENCE FIRST, WITH FULL ACTUS REUS AND MENS REA

3) Act must be dangerous - an objective test in Church - 'such as all sober and reasonable people would realise the risk of some harm, albeit not serious harm' - only needs to be some harm, not serious harm - Larkin - regular transferred malice rules apply (can be aimed at another person - Mitchell), or aimed at property - Goodfellow

'Some harm' constitutes anything more than 'mere emotional disturbance' - Dawson

NB - D does not need to FORESEE the risk of some harm (that the act was dangerous) - Newbury and Jones

4) Causation rules - factual (Pagett, but for test), and legal (Smith, significant and operating cause) - regular thin skull rules apply (Blaue), and novus actus cases (Roberts, Cheshire) - also drugs casees (Cato, Kennedy)

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Linked with civil law - the leading case on gnm is Adomako

1) Duty of care - D must owe V a 'duty of care' - emerges from Donoghue v Stevenson 'neighbour test' - 'you must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour' - Lord Atkin - your neigbhour is someone closely and directly affected by your acts or omission

Must give an example for these acts or ommissions Stone and Dobinson, Miller, Wacker etc.

2) Breach of duty - D must have breached this duty - shown if D acted with gross negligence

3) 'Gross negligence' - D has acted with 'gross negligence' if he satisfies the Bateman test - conduct 'beyond a matter of mere compensation and shows such disregard for the life and safety of others as to amount to a crime against the State' - updated in Adomako to 'so bad in all the circumstances' - APPLY

4) Substantial cause - this is basic causation in the first instance - basic causation in Pagett (factual, but for), and legal - Smith (sig and op) - NB with manslaughter, often there is a causation issue - likely V's own act (Roberts, the daftness test), or medical negligence (Cheshire, Jordan 'palpably wrong') - look for these in the scenario

NB - THERE MUST BE A RISK OF DEATH created by D - Misra

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Both contained in s39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 

1) ASSAULT - actus reus is 'causing V to apprehend immediate unlawful violence' - this can be words (Ireland) or letters (Constanza) - can also negate an assault (Tuberville v Savage) - furthermore, immediate means imminent - the threat must be hanging over D

Mens rea - intention in Mohan (a decision to bring about the prohibited consequence) or Woollin (virtual certainty test), or reckleness in Cunningham 'being aware of the risk and going on to take it' - APPLY either of these

2) BATTERY - actus reus is 'the application of immediate unlawful force' - this can be indirect (DPP v K), and can be the slightest touching of clothes (Thomas) - only force that is necessary is allowed - Collins v Wilcock. Omissions suffice.

Mens rea - direct Mohan intention, indirect Woollin intention or Cunningham reckless - apply - TRANSFERRED MALICE (Latimer) rules may apply

EITHER OFFENCE must be proven for an abh - so use these rules

Regular causation rules apply - factual, legal, thin-skull, novus actus - APPLY

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Defined in s47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Assault or battery must be proven first - apply this from the previous card

ABH - defined in Miller as 'any hurt or injury calculated to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim' - modified in Chan-Fook - updated to include psychiatric harm covering more than 'fear, panic or distress', and more than 'so trivial as to be wholly insignificant' - PSYCHIATRIC HARM CAN BE GBH TOO (S20) - Burstow

NB this can include a loss of consciousness (DPP v T), or the cutting of hair (Smith) - and can be indirect (DPP v K)

NO MENS REA is needed for abh, as it has already been proven for the battery - Savage

Regular causation rules apply

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Grievous bodily harm is set out in s20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 - this covers 2 separate offences causing 'serious harm', and causing 'malicious wounding'

MW - ACTUS REUS - 'a direct or indirect act or omission causing malicious wounding' - the term 'wound' was defined in Eisenhower as 'any cut or break in the continuity of the whole skin' - apply this definition and show that D's act resulted in the wound - NOSE BLEEDS ARE WOUNDS

SERIOUS HARM - ACTUS REUS - 'a direct or indirect act or omission causing gbh' - gbh means serious harm - Saunders - when assessing whether harm is serious, age and health are relevant - Bollom - can be caused by biological gbh (Dica), and psychiatric harm is also relevant - Burstow

MENS REA - SAME FOR BOTH OFFENCES - 'intention or recklessness as to causing some harm' - not serious harm - Savage - D must foresee the risk of some harm - Parmenter

This can be satisfied through the Mohan direct intent test, Woollin VC test, or Cunningham recklessness

Causation rules apply Pagett, Smith, Blaue (if needed) and Roberts/Cheshire novus actus rules

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Defined in s18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861

1) ACTUS REUS - same as for s20 - either malicious wounding actus reus or Saunders gbh definition

2) MENS REA - s18 is a specific intent offence - ALWAYS DO WOOLLIN INDIRECT INTENT - can be Mohan direct - 'intention to cause serious harm'

Woollin - 'if D can foresee that serious harm was a virtual certainty as a consequence of their act or omission, the jury can establish intention' - a test of evidence, not of law - Matthews and Alleyne

Taylor - must be intention to cause serious harm - intention to wound is not enough

CAUSATION - regular rules apply - Pagett factual, Smith legal, Blaue thin skull and novus actus cases Roberts/Cheshire

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Insanity set out by the 1843 M'Naghten Rules - burden on D on BoP - delivers a special verdict of 'not guilty by reason of insanity'

1) DEFECT OF REASON - D's power of reasoning must be impaired - this means that there must be 'more than mere absentmindedness or confusion' - Clarke

2) DISEASE OF THE MIND - a legal term, not medical - this is a physical or medical disease affecting the mind - can be arteriosclerosis (Kemp), epilepsy (Sullivan), a sleeping disorder (Burgess) - as long as the disease is caused by an internal factor - if it is external (SOMETHING D DOES), leads to automatism - hyperglycaemia - insanity - Hennessy (caused by diabetes) - if caused by not eating (hypoglycaemia) - automatism - Quick

3) NATURE OR QUALITY OF THE ACT - in reference to the physical character of the act - if D does not know his act was LEGALLY WRONG (Windle - NOT morally wrong) - satisfied - D may be conscious and not know what he was doing, or he can be unconscious 

VERDICT - not guilty by reason of insanity - judge can impose a hospital order, guardianship order, supervision order or an absolute discharge.

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Leading case for automatism is Bratty - a successful plea leads to acquittal - is distinguished from insanity by the internal/external factor debate

Bratty - 'an act done by the muscles without any control by the mind, or an act done by a person who is not conscious of what he is doing' - 

1) External factor/involuntary acts - the cause of the act must be external (Parks - sleepwalking) - examples are set out in Hill v Baxter of involuntary acts - hit by a stone, stung by a swarm of bees, sneezing - MUST BE AN EXTERNAL FACTOR 

2) Total destruction of voluntary control - there must be a total destruction - AG's Ref No. 2 - anything with some control does not suffice

3) Self-induced automatism - if applicable - if D 'knowingly brings about an automatic state' through their conduct, this is reckless - Bailey - if D brings about automatism through taking illegal drugs/alcohol - also reckless - Majewski

However, if D's conduct unknowingly brings about an automatic state - can still plead automatism - Hardie (valium case) - APPLY

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Consent is always a defence where there is no injury - ie assault and battery - a defence to other offences which leads to acquittal when it falls under the public policy exceptions - you can consent to assault and batterybut not to injury - BROWN

1) True/genuine consent - the consent must be true - Tabassum - cannot be influenced by deception or fear (Olugboja) - D's consent must be genuine

2) APPLY PPE - D can be acquitted if injury comes under a PPE

- horseplay - must be 'rough and undisciplined' - injury can be satisfied - Jones - even if mistakenly horseplay - Aitken

games and sports - V conesnts to injuries within the rules of the game - Barnes - if the conduct is off the ball, intentional then they are criminal - reckless and 'heat of the moment' incidents are less likely to be criminal

body adornments - tattooing is consented to - even branding - Wilson

3) Mistaken belief - if D genuinely, but mistakenly, believes that D has consented to the harm, it is allowed - Aitken

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For specific intent offences, if D was voluntarily intoxicated to the extent where he did not know what he was doing (no mens rea) - he is not guilty of the specific intent offence, but guilty of a 'fallback' offence - SHEEHAN AND MOORE

If D did have mens rea when he was voluntarily intoxicated (ie drinking for 'dutch courage'), he is still guilty - Gallagher

If D was involuntarily intoxicated, but he still had mens rea for the offence, he will be guilty - Kingston (harsh rule) - child molestor had drink spiked and abused a child - guilty

If D was involuntarily intoxicated, but did not have mens rea for the offence, then he will not be guilty and will be acquitted - Hardie

BASIC INTENT OFFENCES - if D is pleading intoxication for a basic intent offence, then voluntary intoxication cannot be pleaded as getting intoxicated is a reckless course of conduct - Majewski. So - VOLUNTARY/INVOLUNTARY - DID D HAVE MENS REA - BI OFFENCES

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Set out in s76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 - asks - was the use of force necessary, reasonable and proportionate?

NECESSARY - if the attacker was in retreat, it is unlikely the force was necessary (Hussain) - all the circumstances are relevant here - if D was threatened, the force was likely necessary. NB - if D makes a genuine mistake in assessing V's intentions, and genuinely believed the force was necessary, then this is allowed - in the perception of D - Williams / s76

REASONABLE - degree of force used must be reasonable - reasonable was defined in s76 - 'acting honestly and instinctively to acheive a legitimate purpose, and D does not have to weigh to a nicety the exact measure of any necessary action' - essentially, D doesn't need to calculate how much force is needed, if he is using the force legitimately (to protect himself) - this must be used AT THE TIME OF THE FORCE OR BEFORE - not days/hours after

PROPORTIONATE - the force used must not be 'disproportionate'householders get extra protection in terms of whether the force was proportionate - must be 'grossly disproportionate'

PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKES - the case of Bird says that these are allowed.

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MURDER - 1) Self-defence (issue with the reasonable requirement, an 'all or nothing approach (Clegg)) - but leads to easy acquittals (Tony Martin) - also relates to LoC, 2) Duress - not pleadable for murder - should be (Law Cmn taxi driver example), Gotts - necessity could be pleaded for murder as a modern defence - Re A - but, could lead to unscrupulous individuals - Dudley v Stephens, 3) Serious harm rule - 2006 Law Cmn report recommended that mens rea of murder creates parity between express, direct malice and indirect, implied malice - harsh - Cunningham - serious harm rule criticised by Lord Edmund-Davies - however, intent to kill can be hard to establish.

DR - 1) Burden of proof - burden on D on BoP - on prosecution for other offences - contravenes Art 6 of ECHR - needs reform - but, current approach makes sense? 2) Developmental immaturity - Law Cmn recommended DR should account for developmental immaturities - doesn't cover u18s - not enough for an AMF or RMC - but, autism is enough for an RMC, and this is accounted for by other defences; 3) Intoxication and DR - Dietschmann shows that intoxication can establish a causal connection - shouldn't - too lenient, should have no influence, as Dowds suggests - however, currently ADS link (Stewart) is beneficial.

REFORMS - 1) 1st and 2nd degree - argument by Law Cmn 2006 that 1st degree should be int. to kill and cause foreseen serious harm, and 2nd degree should be unforseen intent to cause serious harm - would solve serious harm rule, but may be too leninent2) Switch DR burden - could be switched to respect ECHR, making D 'innocent until proven guilty', with no social stigma of 'being insane' - however, may be a presumption of DR - strange?, 3) legalise euthanasia - works in Holland and Switz., prevents absurdities (Inglis), doctors withdraw treatement at the moment (Bland), DPP code is insufficient (Purdy), euthanasia is stressful - (Nicklinson, Pretty) - law should be changed.

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ISSUES1) Hierarchical structure - OAPA 1861 creates a hierarchy, leading to inadequate sentencing framework - s47 has same max sentence as s20, and s18 gets life for the same act as a s20 - some harsh, some leninent - this does offer punishment and deterrence, but an issue; 2) Antiquated act - as a Victorian Act, the wording and language is antiquatedmalicious, grievous and inflict instead of with intent, serious and cause - however, many legal professionals understand the language - so why change?; 3) Actus reus of assault - 'apprehend immediate unlawful force' - assault seems to relate to physical attack, however it doesn't need to - words and letters can (Ireland, Constanza) - immediate also means imminent (Smith) - due to these issues, time and money is wasted over statutory interpretation - needs reform; 4) Mens rea correspondence of mens rea suggests it must relate to the actus reus (it may be foreseeable) - no correspondence for s47 and s20 - can be convicted with no intent to cause injury and no intent to cause serious harm - leads to unjustifiable convictions; 5) 'Bodily harm' - the definition is constantly changing - needs redefining as it is too vague - now includes psychiatric harm (Chan-Fook, Burstow), and biological gbh (Dica) - an issue with the law, however, shows case development and modernisation - a positive?

REFORMS 1) Modernise OAPA 1861 - Law Cmn 1993 - change wording of s18, s20 and s47; change s20 to 'recklessly causing serious injury', increase s20 to a 7 year maximum; would remedy antiquity, remove wounding, refine the hierarchy   - proposed in 1998 draft bill - dropped; 2) 2015 Scoping Paper - recommended separating assault and battery into 'threatened assault, physical assault and aggravated assault' - maintained Dica ruling and would remedy the actus reus issues, making the law accessible - A NUMBER OF REFORMS, BUT NEVER HAPPENED - unlikely

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INSANITY - 1) 'Disease of the mind' - fine definition between internal (insanity) and external (automatism) can be completely acquitted or given a hospital order - hyperglycaemia (Quick) and hypoglycaemia (Hennessy) debate - harsh - often there is a fine line; 2) Burden of proof - currently on D on BoP contravenes Art. 6 of ECHR - 'innocent until proven guilty' - jury has to declare D insane - no medical qualifications - should be for doctors - alternative is arguing you are not insane - strange; 3) 'Wrong' - Windle - a legal, not moral wrong - should be reversed - if D has a medical condition and does not know a moral wrong, he cannot plead insanity if it was not a crime - means the insane cannot plead insanity - however, this is a legal defence, and moral wrong is covered by the disease of the mind 'schizo'

INTOXICATION - 1) Contemporaneity - in Fagan - the Majewski ruling ignores this, as D can get drunk hours before and then commit the actus reus - ignoring Fagan - but, continuing act? also, intox would be very harsh - would not be wise; 2) Involuntary intox - if D is involuntary intox but has mens rea, cannot plead - Kingston - harsh - being exploited yet no defence - if sober, wouldn't have mens rea - intox is the reason for the crime - cannot plead - if BI offence, would be acquitted - Hardie - harsh, but protect victims; 3) Proximity to self-defence - both based on public policy, have similarities   - s76 CJIA 2008 - 'any mistaken belief attributable to voluntary intox' - cannot be relied on - regonsies overlap, but unavoidable                                      REFORMS 1) Extend M'Naghten1953 Royal Cmn to inclued 'irrestible impulses' - DR instead - good reform, 2) Change speical verdict 1975 Butler Cmt 'evidence of mental handicap', Law Cmn 1989 'severe handicap, 1991 - options for judges - satisfactory?; 3) Change BoP - Law Cmn recommended an 'evidential burden' on D, actual on prosecution - would remedy criticism and stop contravention of ART.6

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