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

Relating your answer to unlawful homicide, discuss the major weaknesses in the current law

Extracts from this document...


I am going to evaluate the Partial Defences to Murder, particularly Provocation found in Section 3 of the Homicide Act 1957. This section of the HA '57 Act states that provocation can be '...by things done or said or both...' This is a very broad definition and is possibly too broad e.g. in R v Doughty the persistent crying of a baby. It can be argued that this definition is too broad, as it gives the courts too much discretion in allowing the partial defence. Society has the right to impose certain standards of behaviour on its citizens and such standards should be enforceable. Secondly this in effect places the V's behaviour on trial, this cannot happen in the English Legal System and obviously as they are dead they cannot defend themselves. Finally perfectly natural and reasonable behaviour can in effect be used to partly justify a killing E.g. R v Doughty. This determines the reliability of the law. In the case of R v Cocker it was decided that provocation means a loss of temper. ...read more.


R v Pearson could use it but on similar facts battered women such as Ahluwalia (R v Ahluwalia) have not. Many people have pointed out these women do not react immediately there tends to be a gap between the provocative conduct. This has traditionally been seen as a cooling off period, thereby preventing them using the defence. Helena Kennedy describes this as 'a snapping in slow motion, the final surrender of frayed elastic' or as Lord Gifford described it 'the slow burning emotion of a woman at the end of her tether...may be a loss of self-control in just the same way as a sudden rage'. The LC commented that this defence is seen to favour those men who react in violent anger, over fearful women. A suggested reform would be to remove the need for a sudden and temporary loss of control and simply return to a loss of control taking all relevant factors into consideration. An additional would be to create a new defence of 'Self Preservation' which would take into account the way women react. ...read more.


age of 9, who had lived in "squats" for several years and who had been sexually assaulted on a number of occasions by the V and the jury were instructed to consider the effects of similar provocation on a reasonable person with similar disadvantages. Two possible reforms would be, firstly to make the characteristics to include a question of law; this would have the advantage of consistency but would take an important question away from the jury thus diminishing their role. Secondly the test could be made purely objective, this would be straightforward for the jury, how would they react to that provocation. The major drawback would be that it would defeat the whole purpose of the defence as by definition reasonable people do not go around killing their fellows. A straightforward reform would be to abolish the mandatory life sentence, there would then be no need for the partial defence and the provocation would become a mitigating facto in sentencing. Furthermore, the LC stated that the law of provocation is 'profoundly unsatisfactory'. ?? ?? ?? ?? Damien Greenhalgh A2 Law - Page 1 - P.T.O. � ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Law essays

  1. Study the concept of Reasonable man and reasonability in tort law.

    and onto a nearby road causing an accident in which the plaintiffs husband died. The council were negligent because premises where small children are should be designed to ensure that children cannot wander off endangering themselves or others. But lord reid said that the teacher who had not noticed the

  2. Explain the need for discipline in at least two public services. Analyse the role ...

    Fire service: I am now going to write an example of what could happen if you didn't follow instructions given. There's a fire in a house you and you colleagues have been briefed on the situation and you have been told to meet back outside after a short period of

  1. Is Nuclear Power the Answer for the Future?

    that a "chain reaction" occurring in a nuclear reactor makes the heat instead. Uranium rods are used by the reactor as fuel, and heat is created by nuclear fission (neutrons smashing into the nucleus of the uranium atoms, which split roughly in half and release energy in the form of heat).

  2. Law of Homicide

    One of the big constituent in the criminal liability, that the accused should have a mental state commensurate with committing the offence. This state is known as mens rea, which can be also known as "guilty mind" or "blameworthy mind". A mostly ever criminal offence requires a demonstration mens rea.

  1. Describe the system of trial by jury within the English legal system.

    Also Juries normally get the verdict right. Arguments against trial by jury. Although there are many arguments to say trial by jury is an effective method to use, there are also disadvantages of having a trial by jury, some people view trial by jury as being unnecessary, like Professor Hogan

  2. The Law Relating to Negotiable Instruments

    But it should not contain any words prohibiting transfer, e.g., 'Pay to A only' or 'Pay to A and none else' is not treated as `payable to order' and therefore such a document shall not be treated as negotiable instrument because its negotiability has been restricted.

  1. Is Diminished Responsibility Relevant?

    was just another rejection by a significant person in his eyes, and by him being told to get out of where he was living. He had been chronically depressed and suicidal before this, but in addition to the depression was the complication , or sequelae, of the use of Amphetamine (Speed)

  2. Examine the effects of this Act and its sister enactments, in order to determine ...

    In the judgement Hamilton P stated, however, that, as the purpose of the section was the protection of the right of residence of the non-owning spouse, only he or she could invoke the section to have an offending conveyance declared void.

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