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Discuss the following a) Explain the age of criminal responsibility b) Define homicide c) Explain the rules of causation

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Introduction

Paper 2571 20/11/05 OCR JUNE 2005 Discuss the following a) Explain the age of criminal responsibility b) Define homicide c) Explain the rules of causation including the concepts of an intervening act by reference to cases A killing can be either lawful or unlawful. Killings that are lawful are those by the police, armed services and doctors in strictly controlled circumstances. An unlawful homicide is considered to be those of: murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, infanticide and death caused by dangerous driving or careless driving. Homicide in criminal law is the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or negligence of another. Murder is the 'killing of a human being with malice aforethought', where the person will have the intention to kill or cause serious harm. It is a common law offence that was developed by judges. When someone has been convicted of murder, the judge will impose a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. Children between 10 and 14 years of age may be found guilty of a crime if the court believes they knew what they were doing was wrong. ...read more.

Middle

S2 of the the Homicide Act 1957 states that a person may be found guilty of the lesser offence of volutry manslaughter rather than murder, if he was suffering from an abnormality of mind, casused by an inside source, that substantially affected his responsibility for his actions. Constructive manslaughter is known as an unlawful act because it is committed where the defendant has caused the death of a person by an unlawful and dangerous act. The distinction between this type of manslaughter was clearly stated in the case of Larkin 1943, where three elements have to established before a person is liable for constructive manslaughter. There must be an unlawful act, this act must have caused the death and the unlawful act must have been a dangerous one. The chain of causation has its rules mainly established through case law rather than by statute. The defendant in some cases will be arguing that the death was the victims fault. The courts will look at two issues. Firstly, did the conduct of the accused cause the resulting harm (what was the factual cause of death?). ...read more.

Conclusion

Their appeals failed. In the case of Kimsey 1971, it was not thought of as to be a misdirection by the trial judge when he stated the "contribution must be merely be something more than a 'slight or trifling link'. A novus actus interveniens means a new intervening act. No intervening act has to arisen to break the chain of causation causing the defendant's act to cause the actual death. Therefore, the defendant would be able to escape liability if he/she could prove the novus actus interveniens had caused the death and not their act of violence or omission. Sunil refuses to give consent for a blood transfusion and dies two hours later. Anwar may claim that Sunil has aggravated his condition or refused medical treatment, but this does not always mean that a defendant can escape liability. For example in the case of Wall's 1801, the Governor of Goree had inflicted an illegal flogging of 800 lashes on the deceased and was charged with his murder. He tried to argue that the victim had aggravated the condition by consuming strong alcohol to deaden the pain of punishment. But the judge refused this claim. ...read more.

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