• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In relation to murder, consider what critisicms may be made on the current law.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In relation to murder (inc voluntary manslaughter), consider what criticisms may be made on the current law. There are many aspects of the law relating to murder which are currently criticised and are in ne3ed of change. The main ones are: - the necessary of intent. -the use of force in self- defence. -the mandatory life sentence. Intent has caused many problems because of having to establish the mens rea in cases where the prime intent was not to kill, will inevitably cause problems as hen you have to find out what the defendant did intend, or what did he foresee would happen as a result of his act? Only the defendant himself can possibly know what was in his mind at the time. As things stand at the moment, a person who intends to cause serious bodily harm and actually causes his victims death is guilty of murder. But should a defendant whole only intention is to cause serious bodily harm be as guilty of murder as one who deliberately wanted to kill? And what if the defendant whose main intention was not even to cause serious bodily harm? ...read more.

Middle

Again the law commission in its report offences against the person and general principles 1993, proposed that the word 'intentionally' should be defined as this: A person acts intentionally with respect to a result when: a. it is his purpose to cause it; or b. although it is not his purpose to cause it, he knows that it would occur in the ordinary course of events if he were to succeed in his purpose of causing some other result. The introduction of this reform would go a long way to stop confusing situations. Self defence The criminal law act 1967, states that a person may use ' such force as in reasonable in the circumstances' in self defence or to prevent a crime being committed. What is reasonable depends on what the defendant honestly and instinctively though the needs of the moment to be. The situation as it stands at the moment therefore is that a person who kills in self-defence, or to prevent a crime, either: - has complete defence, in which case he is innocent of the charge of his murder; or - is his use of force is considered to be disproportionate, he is found guilty of murder. ...read more.

Conclusion

Suggestion for the reform of the law in this matter continue to be made. If life imprisonment dose not actually mean for life then why call it life imprisonment and insist on it being passed? One suggestion is to abolish the mandatory life sentence and make it discretionary which basically means the judge has the power to pass any sentence up to and including the maximum sentence available for that crime, depending on the seriousness of the offence. Another suggestion is that different degrees of murder could be introduce, in thus way the most serious murders would attract a mandatory life sentence and less ones would attract a discretionary life sentence. When imposing the mandatory life sentence, a judge has the power to recommend that the defendant serves a minimum number of years before being released. He can also recommend that a defendant should never be released; life imprisonment meaning literally for life. By making such recommendations, a judge can reflect the seriousness of the offence. It may be for this reason that no moves have yet been made to abolish the mandatory life sentence. The potential areas of reform of voluntary manslughter are the two defences to it- provocation and diminished responsibility. One of the main difficulties with the defence of provocation ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sources of Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sources of Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How satisfactory is the current law of murder?

    3 star(s)

    The Actus Reus (this is the physical act of the offence) of murder is ' the unlawful killing of a human being under the queens peace'. This has proven in some cases very hard to prove due to the actual definition.

  2. Explain the distinction between the law and morals and consider the importance of the ...

    then went on to receive serious injuries is not in the eyes of the law seen as morally wrong. Accountability for the defendant's actions must be implied in all cases and in John Stuart Mills view this would be wrong as such behaviour is harming others irrelevant of their consent

  1. Sanctions available in criminal Law

    If the offender is still a threat to the community they will remain imprisoned. This sanction is commonly used to punish violent crimes, such as rape and manslaughter. Life sentences for murder A life sentence is always given to offenders who are guilty of murder.

  2. Examine the relationship between law and morals and consider whether the law should support ...

    This problem can further be seen in the area of embryology, where scientific advances have happened so swiftly that the law has trouble keeping pace with the new moral issues raised by in vitro fertilisation, cloning, stem cell research etc.

  1. Critically evaluate the partial defence of Provocation.

    While there were factors which weighed against a finding of provocation, the matter should still have been left to the jury. The subjective test asks whether the defendant was provoked to have a sudden and temporary loss of self-control. This can be broken down as requiring proof of, first, provocative conduct, and secondly, a sudden and temporary loss of self-control.

  2. Liberal reform 1906-1914

    Although this was an improvement, many workers were sick for longer than this, especially those who could not afford to pay for hospital treatment. The fact that this scheme was self-contributory reduced its success. Weekly contributions were raised from the worker (4d), the employer (3d)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work