Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter

Murder inrelation to voluntary manslaughter

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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 06-01-10 09:48



Murder is a common law crime and is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being, under the queens peace with malice aforethought.

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Actus reus of murder is ‘the unlawful killing of a human being under the Queens peace’

5 Omissions will be sufficient for the Actus reus, as the person has a duty to act.

1. Contractual Duty – pittwood

2. Duty because of a relationship – Gibbins and Procter

3. Duty taken on voluntarily – Stone and Dobinson

4. Duty because of creation of danger – Miller

5. Duty through ones official position - Dytham

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In order to be criminally liable, D must not only have attacked V in some way, bu also caused V’s death. We must show causation in fact, and causation in law.

· Causation in Fact – But for – Pagett

· Causation in Law – Courts consider whether D’s actions were a significant cause of V’s death, or was there an intervening act which broke the chain of causation. – R v Blaue

Thin Skull Rule – where the intervening contribution or cause of death is a pre-existing weakness, D will still be liable for the more serious consequences.

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