Voluntary Manslaughter


Everything that you need to know about Voluntary manslaughter!!
Flashcards by alan.10a, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by alan.10a over 10 years ago

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Question Answer
What is voluntary manslaughter? When you successfully plead one of the partial defences in relation to murder. Murder + Partial Defence= Voluntary Manslaughter
What are the four partial defences? 1) Loss of control 2) Diminished Responsibility 3) Suicide Pact 4) Infanticide YOU ONLY NEED TO KNOW THE FIRST TWO
What is Loss of control? Loss of control came in to place in s.54 of the coroners and justice act in 2009 to replace the old defence of provocation.
What is needed in order to prove you had Loss of control? 1) There must be a loss of control Subjective (not a aim to gain revenge) 2) There must be a qualifying trigger (which caused the D to lose control and it doesn't have to be sudden Ahluwalia) 3) A person of D’s sex and age, with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint and in the circumstances of D, might have reacted in the same or in a similar way to D.
What is a cooling off period and if there is one, does it prove that there was no loss of control? It's the time between the provocation and the killing which the longer the delay between the alleged provocation and the killing, the stronger is the evidence of deliberation which would negative the defence as seen in Ahluwalia but it is only a rule of evidence and again loss of control doesn't have to be sudden.
Can cumulative actions count towards provocation and thus count as a qualifying trigger? Yes cumulative actions can count towards becoming a qualifying trigger as seen in the cases of Humphries, Thornton (no.2) and Ahluwahlia which also dictate that battered wife syndrome is also a qualifying trigger to lose control
How do you prove that there was a qualifying trigger? Defined in s.55 of Coroners and Justice Act 2009: - If D’s loss of self-control was attributable to D’s fear of serious violence from V against D or another identified person. (If they fear violence from the V against himself or another person) - This subsection applies if D’s loss of self-control was attributable to a thing or things done or said (or both) which— (a) constituted circumstances of an extremely grave character, and (b) caused D to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged.
Does sexual infidelity count towards a qualifying trigger? Not if it is the only thing which has provoked the D, however if it is part of the cumulative actions which has caused the D to lose control then yes as seen in R v Clinton
What is the reasonable man test? A person of D’s sex and age, with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint and in the circumstances of D, might have reacted in the same or in a similar way to D. Camplin said that the age and sex of a D should be taken into consideration
What are gravity characteristics? Characteristics of the defendant which affect the gravity of the provocation i.e. age and gender as seen in Camplin
What are control characterisitcs characteristics of the defendant, such as depression, which affect his powers of self-control at the time of the killing.
Does self-intoxication count as a characteristic? No, according to Morhall it does not
What is diminished responsibility? When the D was suffering from an abnormality of the mind arose from a recognised medical condition which impaires your
What is the standard of proof when trying to prove DR? 'On the balance of probabilities' that you may have an abnormality of mind
What are the three elements which you need in order to prove diminished responsibility? 1) There must be an abnormality of mental functioning arisingfrom a recognised medical condition (Dix) 2) It must result in substantial impairment of D's ability to understand the nature of his conduct, form a rational judgment or exercise self control 3) That the abnormality of mind provides an explanation as to why the D done the killing
What is an abnormality of mental functioning? It is a state of mind so different from that of ordinary human beings that a reasonable man would term it abnormal as defined in Byrne
Does alcoholism count as an abnormality of mental functioning? According to Tandy, alcoholism is enough if it injures the brain causing gross impairment of judgement and emotional responses, or causes the drinking to be involuntary. Otherwise, no it does not count.
What is the principle that was established in Gittens? Where there are two or more causes of the abnormality of the mind, one of which is intoxication, the jury should ignore the effect of the intoxication and consider only the effect of the admissible cause.
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