Criminal Law (LLB) - Unlawful Act Manslaughter & Gross Negligence Manslaughter

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What are the three elements/requirements of unlawful act manslaughter? (1)
1. There must be an unlawful act. 2. That act must dangerous. 3. The unlawful act must have caused the death.
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What case states that the actus reus and mens rea of the unlawful act must be established? (2)
R v Lamb. Both the actus reus and mens rea must be present. Without those two elements of the unlawful act, unlawful act manslaughter cannot succeed.
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What case states that there does not need to be a mens rea for the causing of death, just a mens rea for the unlawful act which caused the death? (2A)
DPP v Newbury
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What case evidences that the act must be unlawful in the sense that it must constitute a criminal offence? (2A)
R v Franklin.
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What case evidences that unlawful act manslaughter can only be based upon a positive act? (3)
R v Lowe. In this case the D failed to call a doctor. Held: The act for unlawful act manslaughter must be a positive act. Even a deliberate omission will not suffice.
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What case evidences that the unlawful act need not be directed at the victim? (3A)
R v Larkin.
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What case evidences that the unlawful act need not be directed at the victims? (3B)
R v Goodfellow. In this case the appellant had been harassed by two men and wanted move from the council house. He therefore set fire to the house and ended up killing his wife, son and son's girlfriend.
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What case evidences that the unlawful act must dangerous? (4)
R v Church. It is not enough that the act is unlawful. It must be on that 'all sober and all reasonable people would inevitably recognise must subject the other person to the risk of some (albeit not serious) harm'.
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What case evidences that the unlawful act being dangerous doesn't have to be realised by the defendant them self? (5)
The courts have used an objective test for deciding whether the unlawful act was dangerous. In R v Newbury & Jones they held that providing the d intends the unlawful act then he need not realise the dangerousness of it. Ther
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In what case did Lord Hope state that 'dangerousness in this context is not a high standard. All it requires is an act likely to injure the other person'.? (6)
Attorney's General Ref 3 of 1994.
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what case held that a sober and reasonable person would regard the act of the appellant as dangerous as they would have known of the age and frail condition of the victim. (6A)
R v Watson.
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What case shows that the d's mistaken belief that the act was not dangerous could not be attributed to a reasonable man? (6B)
R v Ball.
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What case held that burglary was dangerous in this case because there was a risk of someone intervening due to there only being a single track to escape with vehicles? (6C)
R v Bristow.
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What case showed that where a d injects someone with a noxious thing (s23 of the Offences against the person Act 1861) that causes death this will amount to an unlawful act manslaughter. (6D)
R v Cato
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What case shows that where a d supplies the victim with a drug and the victim is **
R v Kennedy which confirmed the ruling in R v Dias.
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Note: the unlawful act must cause the death. The usual rules of causation apply here. (6F)
...
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What four questions should be asked when answering a question on gross negligence manslaughter? (7)
1. Does the d have a duty of care towards the victim? 2. Is the defendant in breach of that duty? 3. Did the breach of duty cause the death? 4. Should the conduct be characterised as criminal?
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What case states that the ordinary principles of negligence apply to gross negligence manslaughter for the purposes of finding a duty of care? (8)
R v Adamako.
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What case confirmed that no mens rea was needed on behalf of the defendant? (8A)
A-G ref No 2 of 1999. This was confirmed by the case of R v DPP ex parte Jones where the CPS held it was wrong not to prosecute on the lack of subjective recklessness of the employer.
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Establishing whether the defendant has a duty to act follows the same principles as it does for tort. Explain how a duty of care may arise. (9)
A duty of care may arise through a contractual duty - R v Pitwood. Through a public position - R v Dytham. Through a statute - Children and Young Persons Act 1933. Through a chain of events - R v Miller. Through voluntary assumption of care
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Question continued... (10)
R v Stone and Dobinson. Nettleship v Weston also shows that drivers have a duty of care towards all other road users and pedestrians.
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What is the difference between a duty of care and a duty to act? How does this effect breaching the duty?
A duty of care is breached by poor performance of the duty. Evaluate what the defendant did and whether this fell short of what was expected of him (Adomako).
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Question continued... (12)
A duty to act is breached by failure to act. Establish that the defendant has a duty to act and that he failed to do so.
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What case showed that supplying drugs may lead to the d owing a duty of care and how will they owe this duty? (12A)
R v Evans. In this case the d supplied some drugs to her sister. The d was held to owe a duty of care to summon help when the victim was having an overdose. The duty arose not from her familial relationship, nor from her acceptance of duty but
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Question continued... (12B)
...through her supplying the drugs and thus creating a dangerous situation
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What cases show that the defence of ex turpi causa does not apply to gross negligence manslaughter? (12C)
R v Wacker & R v Willoughby. The defence of ex turpi causa in civil law means that the d will not owe a duty of care to someone where the victim is acting in joint criminal enterprise. This is not applicable to gross negligence manslaughter.
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What is required for a breach of the duty? Give case authority.
R v Adamako. It was held in this case for there to be a breach the d's standard of care must have departed from the proper standard of care incumbent upon him. Where a person holds them self out as having some skill or knowledge they will be judged
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Question continued... (14)
against the standard of a reasonably competent professional in that field. (Nettleship v Weston - learner driver)
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Note the breach must cause death. The usual rules of causation apply. However when referring to causation in unlawful act manslaughter be sure to explain how the civil principles apply to factual and legal causation. (15)
E.G As a qualified gas fitter contracted to service the boiler, Dave owes a duty of care to Vanessa. By failing to wire the boiler correctly, he has not performed his duties to the standard expected of a reasonably competent gas fitter, thus is in
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Question continued... (16)
breach of duty of care. As this breach has caused the explosion of the boiler which started the fire in which Vanessa died, Dave’s breach of duty has caused Vanessa’s death. (You could break this down into factual and legal causation if this ha
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Finally the The defendant's conduct must have been so bad in all the circumstances as to amount in the jury's opinion to a crime. What case evidences this? (17)
This final requirement has been challenged as being in breach of Art 6 & 7 of the European Convention of Human Rights. However, the Court of Appeal held that the test was sufficiently certain to comply with Convention rights.
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Question continued... (17A)
In R v Misra & Srivastava it was held that the jury are to look at whether his behaviour was grossly negligent and consequently criminal. This is not a question of law, but one of fact, for decision in the individual case.
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Card 2

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What case states that the actus reus and mens rea of the unlawful act must be established? (2)

Back

R v Lamb. Both the actus reus and mens rea must be present. Without those two elements of the unlawful act, unlawful act manslaughter cannot succeed.

Card 3

Front

What case states that there does not need to be a mens rea for the causing of death, just a mens rea for the unlawful act which caused the death? (2A)

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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What case evidences that the act must be unlawful in the sense that it must constitute a criminal offence? (2A)

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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What case evidences that unlawful act manslaughter can only be based upon a positive act? (3)

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