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Defintinition: Unlawful killing of a reasonable human being under the queens peace with malice aforethought.

Unlawful Killing

A killing is not unlawful if D uses"reasonable force" in self-defence or defence of another.

Killing can be n act or omission

Gibbins and Proctor 1918

Facts:Failed to feed their child

Ratio: They had a duty of care to look after their child. An omission can give rise to liability for murder if D has a duty to act

A human being

Foetus - at the point of birth and after its first breath

AG's Reference (No.3 of 1994)1998

Facts: D stabbed pregnant partner, baby born alive, died.

Ratio:HL stated that where the foetus is injured and the child is born alive but dies afterwards as a result of injuries.

Brain dead

Malcherek and Steel 1981:

Facts: D stabbed his wife who was put on life support machine in hospital. Dr's wanted to switch it off.

Ratio:The recognised test is that when a person is "brain dead", dr's can switch off life support machine without committing



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