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

Homicide. Unlawful killing is when and a person of sound mind and of the age of discretion can commit the actus Reus of murder by unlawfully killing another person. This means that the defendant in a murder case must be legally responsible for his actions

Extracts from this document...


Homicide The act of homicide is broken down in English law to murder and manslaughter, in other countries such as the USA murder or manslaughter is usually referred to just as homicide. In the USA murder is broken down into different degrees however in English law it is not, it is murder which follows with a mandatory life sentence. There can be various different types of manslaughter dependent on the situation and very different aspects involved with the crime itself. Unlawful killing is when and a person of sound mind and of the age of discretion can commit the actus Reus of murder by unlawfully killing another person. This means that the defendant in a murder case must be legally responsible for his actions and cannot be classed as insane, cannot have committed the crime under diminished responsibility and has to be a person and not a corporation. Currently in England the age of criminal responsibility is 10 years old, over the years there have been calls for this to be raised to 12 and in some cases 14, this would follow many other countries throughout the world. ...read more.


It was held that the doctor's decision not to operate on was reasonable as the head injuries incurred in the attack were the significant cause of the victim's demise. The defendant was rightly convicted of manslaughter as in criminal cases the blame cannot be apportioned. The defendants act doesn't need to the sole or man cause of death, it is sufficient that their acts significantly contributed to the demise of the victim. When a person unlawfully kills someone it is automatically classed as murder, however the charge can be reduced to manslaughter on various different grounds. Diminished responsibility and provocation are two grounds used when attempting to have a charge reduced to manslaughter. The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 replaced S.2 of the Homicide Act 1957 by stating "A person who kills or is party to the killing of another is not to be convicted of murder if D was suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning"2 this then was broken down into different parts; firstly if the defendants actions arose from a recognised medical condition3; the abnormality of mental functioning substantially impaired D's ability to do one or more things mentioned in sub section [1A]4 and provides an explanation for the defendants acts and omissions in doing or being party to the killing. ...read more.


original trial but the court of appeal admitted the evidence which was that the defendant had suffered years of abuse from her husband eventually suffering from battered woman's syndrome, which is also referred to as post traumatic stress disorder. The syndrome is recognised by the courts as the constant abuse the women incur can lead to sudden temporary loss of self control and can be seen to amount to diminished responsibility. So providing the defendant is able to establish and prove they were suffering from a total loss of self control or diminished responsibility could be proved then the charge can be reduced to voluntary manslaughter. Homicide is a broad term which is generally why it isn't a word normally associated with the English Legal System. We have it broken down into different sections to make it clearer and easier for all concerned to understand the differences between the indictments and the punishments that are involved as well as breaking down what has to be involved on each individual basis. One thing is certain, for a murder charge to stick the defendant must have no excuse for killing the victim, the actus reus and mens rea must fully be present in the case for the conviction to be safe. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Criminal law section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A fine essay. A tighter writing style will improve this essay.

4 Stars.

Marked by teacher Edward Smith 05/09/2013

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 University Degree Criminal law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Chain of causation problem question. The given case is concerned with the law ...

    4 star(s)

    Given the circumstance of this case the prosecution is most likely to press for constructive manslaughter. This is because under gross negligence manslaughter a duty of care needs to be established between the defendant and the deceased which would be hard to establish because Albert is a supplier of drugs and is not involved in its administration.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Criminal Law Omissions. In the English legal system there is generally no liability ...

    4 star(s)

    sick relative to stay for a length of time.and if death occurs because of an omission to look after the victim then the result could be the defendant may be charged with murder or manslaughter, the reason for this is to ensure people who take on vulnerable sick people to

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

    4 star(s)

    A report found that one of the problems was that staff were segregated on the basis of their race. Race separation was clearly seen and was an issue. Amongst all the other problems identified within the report the Race Relation Act was enforced to reduce the amount of racism within the CPS.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Critically consider all arguments concerning spousal compellability and conclude whether or not it ...

    4 star(s)

    Creighton asks why section 80(3)49 is so limited: ?Are not murder or rape of those aged sixteen or more at least as serious?? 50 Expanding on this, Taper argues that there is no distinction between offences involving injury to children and those of sexual offences, explaining: ?the accused?s wife is

  1. problem question on murder

    The prosecution will look at the case Cheshire 19916. In this case, the court ruled 'Even though negligence medical treatment was the immediate cause of death that should not exclude the accused responsibility' and the accused act was the significant cause of death. Furthermore, if Boris wants to use medical negligence for his defense, then he must prove that

  2. What was the impact of the decision of R v G and R?

    taking into consideration, individual characteristics which weren't present before in the Caldwell test. As mentioned above, one can note that the House of Lords decision in RvG illustrated criticism thus conveying a negative impact of the case. This can be seen as the RvG case only overrules the objective test

  1. Critically assess the impact of the way in which media and politicians represented the ...

    The court orders also prevent any information being released about what the pair has been up to while in custody. Much effort has been made to protect the two, especially since rumours of man hunts and mob violence was perceived against the boys.

  2. After Woollin, the law of Intention remains unclear, but nonetheless works in a satisfactory ...

    to provide a good effect.?[23] This is shown in the case of Adams[24], who administered increasing doses of morphine to a patient who was terminally ill. Devlin J directed the jury by saying ?he is entitled to do all that is proper and necessary to relive pain and suffering even

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