INTRO- Law is from 17th century- outdated. Law Commission 2006- murder is 'a rickety structure built on shaky foundations'. Lord Coke's definition of murder. Develops through case law.
P1- Malice aforethought. Implies premeditation/evil intention- neither are needed. Inglis- Lord Judge- 'The law on murder does not distinguish between murder for malevolent reasons and murder motivated by familial love'. Premeditation is no longer needed to satisy the MR of murder. Law Commission said Parliament never intended a killing to amount to murder unless D realised his conduct held a risk of death (Homocide Act). Vickers- D does not need intention to kill, he only needs intention for GBH- Vickers.
P2- Vickers raises a further difficulty- makes murder a constructive liability offence. The principle of correspondence- D should be found guilty for both the AR and MR in equal measure. Vickers puts more emphasis on the actus reus which D may not always have control over, unlike his MR. Eg if a drink driver kills someone, he intended to drink drive but not to murder someone. -Unfair, D can be found guilty with no intention/nor did foresee the risk of death. Injustice made worse when sentencing is considered. Criminal Justice Act sets guidelines as to the minimum tariff terms, which judges can impose (Dobson and Norris). Appears unjust- some argue that if D was prepared to cause such serious harm to V, if death results he should be guilty of murder. V's family need justice.
P3- Law commission tried to fix with 1st/2nd degree murder/ 1st- D intends to kill/cause GBH AND realises risk of death. Mandatory life sentence. 2nd- Intends GBH (implied) but does NOT realise risk of death. Discretionary life sentence. Problem- would not assist those found guilty of a mercy killing- would fall into 1st degree. Labelled a murderer.
P4- Murder- not codified, delevoped on a case-by-case basis- allows…