A2 Law: Cases - Murder

Jessica 'JessieB
Flashcards by Jessica 'JessieB, updated more than 1 year ago


A Levels Law A2 (Cases) Flashcards on A2 Law: Cases - Murder, created by Jessica 'JessieB on 04/29/2014.

Resource summary

Question Answer
Definition of Murder by Sir. Edward Coke in 1797. (Modern Version) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, within the Queen's peace with the intention to kill or cause serious harm.
Case Outcome: 'Killing' within the AR of murder - Gibbins and Proctor (1918) An Omission can fulfil the AR. It is where the defendant fails to act under their legal duty. The defendant's in this case failed to fulfill their duties as parents and so Gibbins' daughter died.
Case Outcome: Contributory factors to the death of the victim (AR) - Jordan; Smith or Cheshire These cases involved questioning the chain of causation. (see Causation Case Lists)
Case Facts: 'Human Being' within the AR of murder - Poulton (1832) As the defendant's baby was being born, she put strong around its neck and killed it.
Case Outcome: 'Human Being' within the AR of murder - Poulton (1832) The court stated that for the baby to be considered a person, it must have fully emerged from the body, therefore, it isn't a human being.
Case Facts: 'Human Being' within the AR of murder - AG's Reference (No 3 of 1994) 1997 The defendant stabbed his wife whilst she was 23 weeks pregnant. She survived and had a premature birth, but her baby later died at 4 months.
Case Outcome: 'Human Being' within the AR of murder - AG's Reference (No 3 of 1994) 1997 The defendant pleaded guilty to intending to wound the victim with intent, but he was also charged with murder. The trial judge stated that the foetus was not "a creature in being" and so directed the jury to acquit him of murder and manslaughter. On appeal, the COA allowed the prosecutions appeal as a murder conviction was possible + the T.J had directed wrong. COA stated that intention to cause GBH to the mother is equivalent to the same intent directed towards the foetus. HOWEVER, the HOL rejected the COA ruling of transferred malice and, at most, manslaughter could be given.
Case Outcome: 'Brain Dead' within 'Human Being' in the AR of murder - Malcherek; Steel (1981) If life-support machines are turned off, then there will be no break in the chain of causation and the defendant will still be guilty.
Case Outcome: Mens Rea of Murder (Indirect Intent) - Hyam (1972) HOL ruled that if the defendant foresaw the consequences of her actions, it's highly probable that she intended it.
Case Outcome: Mens Rea of Murder (Indirect Intent) - Moloney (1985) This case declared Hyam to be bad law; just because someone foresaw something, it doesn't mean they intended it. Lord Bridge formed the Moloney guidelines: 1) Was death or serious injury a natural consequence of the defendant's act? And if so, 2) Did the defendant foresee that? If yes to both, the jury could INFER intention.
Case Outcome: Mens Rea of Murder (Indirect Intent) - Hancock and Shankland (1986) Lord Scarman stated the Moloney Guidelines were unsafe and misleading as it had no reference to probability of the consequence occurring.
Case Outcome: Mens Rea of Murder (Indirect Intent) - Nedrick (1986) COA clarified the Moloney and Hancock rulings by creating the 'Virtual Certainty' test. 1) How probable was the consequence which resulted from the defendant's voluntary act? 2) Did the defendant foresee the consequence as virtually certain? If yes to both, then again, the jury could INFER intention along with the rest of the facts of the case = foresight of consequence doesn't mean intention but evidence that intention existed.
Case Outcome: Mens Rea of Murder (Indirect Intent) - Woolin (1999) The T.J reffered to "a substantial risk" instead of "virtually certain". The HOL quashed the defendant's murder conviction to manslaughter because of this. Nedrick/Woolin guidelines must be used in murder cases. This case also changed the word INFER to FIND to make it easier for the jury to understand.
Case Outcome: Mens Rea of Murder (Indirect Intent) - Matthews and Alleyne (2003) Both defendants were convicted but appealed, claiming that the judge had misdirected the jury on the fact that the T.J went beyond the virtual certainty test and equated foresight of consequence. The COA agreed but upheld their convictions as finding intention, in this particular case, was irresistible.
Case Outcome: Mens Rea of Murder (Transferred Malice) - Mitchell; Latimer (See Causation)
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