Law - Voluntary Manslaughter

Notes regarding loss of control/diminished responsibility manslaughter

A2 LAW 03

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Loss of control

S54 Coroners & Justice Act 2009

Definition: Where D has a loss of control, caused by qualifying triggers and someone of D's age & gender, with a normal degree of tolerance, would have reacted the same way. (Objective test)

1. Loss of control 

Ahluwahlia - loss of control does not have to be sudden. 

2. Qualifying triggers NB: NO defence if prov. used as excuse for violence

a) fear of serious violence (Ahluwahlia, Hobson)

b) things said/done which amounted to grave provocation (Dougherty)

c) combination of both 

3. Relevant characteristics

Camplin - age & gender are relevant (confirmed by Holley)

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Diminished Responsibility

S2(1) Coroners & Justice Act 2009 

Definition: Where D suffers from an abnormality of mental functioning, which arises from a recognised medical condition and substantially impairs their ability to: make a rational judgement, exercise self control or understand the nature/quality of their actions. The abnormaility must explain D's conduct. 

1. Abnormaility of mental functioning

Byrne: This is a state of mind so different from an ordinary person's that they would find it abnormal (objective test). 

2. Recognised medical condition NB: ADS is recognised (Tandy, Stewart)

E.g. depression, schizophrenia, stress etc.

3. Substantially impairs D's ability to

make a rational judgement/exercise self control/understand N/Q of actions

4. S1(b) Homicide Act 1957 says killing must provide an exp. for conduct.

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