General Defences (1)Insanity andAutomatism MAH 2011-12 G153
Hang on... A general defence?Yup... That’s right we are looking at defences which may apply to more than murder. They are known as general defences because (in theory) they apply to all criminal offences. Duress & Insanity Automatism Intoxication Necessity
What do you think? Student Task: Before we look at the law... What do you think? On the cards are 10 scenarios.You need to read them and put them into one of three categories: Insane Automatistic No defenceBe prepared to defend your decision!
Now you‟ve got an idea of some of the issues...How does the law work in practice? 1. What was the verdict for Mr Lowe and what type of „punishment‟ did he receive?Read the article and see if you 2. What do we mean by automatism?can work out the answer to the following questions 3. What factors were considered important in establishing whether or not he was acting in an automatistic state? 4. What is the difference between insane and non-insane automatism? 5. Why do you think the jury decided it was insane automatism (aka insanity)? 6. Look at the two cases at the end of the article. i. Why was Mr Sokell not able to successfully argue either insane or non-insane automatism? ii. Why was Mr Buck acquitted on the basis of non- insane automatism? 7. What do you learn about D and his previous behaviour?
Applying your understanding (AO2)Have you understood? Insane or non-insane automatism? Would they be successful? RRvv Whoolley1970 R v Thomas 1984 Hardie 2009 Lipman 1997 D had suffered from who, dreaming him, he was had D’s girlfriend was breaking up withfeet away He was a was taken LSD andsleepwalking all his life. he the a lorry driver was when 60 that and from fighting with snakes. slow moving car in front began, gave him some of her nightmare that it. His broke into their caravan and distressed over youthsgirlfriend without warning, tohe sneeze. The He woke him find that he had killed his fought tablets to calmup todown, valium back.sneezing fit consisted of approximately He awoke to find that he had killed his of seconds. four wife.to five sneezes and lasted a couplegirlfriend by cramming eight inches of sheet down her throat. However, the tablets had a rather opposite effect, As had stopped setting fire to a wardrobe. He a result him taking anti-depressants and other resulting inhe crshed into the car, causing a seven car Insanity or seriously injuring some of the drivers. pile up and automatism? drugs before the holiday. . Insanity or automatism? Insanity or automatism? Successful or not? Successful or not? Successful or not?
Insanity M’Naughten 1843 He was labouring under such a defect of reason caused by a disease of the mind, as to not know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it, that it was wrong.
Can I use it in the Magistrates’ Court? But Yes... DPP v Harper 1997
Special Verdict Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Doesn’t mean go free! What about murder? Are we talking about a lot of Punishment or defendants? Recent disposal treatment? reforms Student ThinkingWhat problems with the law on insanity can you spot so far?As a lawyer, why might you encourage your client to plead using one of the other mental conditiondefences?As a client, why might you not want to plead NGRI, even if you are suffering from a mentaldisorder?Finally… is the verdict right? Some people argue that it should be „guilty but insane‟ and others thatit should simply be „not guilty‟. What do you think? Why?
Element One: Defect of Reason R v Clarke• Is absentmindedness enough?• What about irresistible impulses?
Element Two: Disease of the MindThe key problem here is the word mind.If it was brain... this whole area would be a lot easier! R v Kemp “the ordinary faculties of reason, memory and understanding.”
Settling:What’s the word or phrase? Inn-sam-it-tea (Insanity) Pr Auto-mat-ism (automatism) Men-tall Con-dish-on deaf-fences (mental condition defences)
Starter: Can you sort the mental condition defences out?You have the mixed up sectionsfor the three mental conditiondefences (automatism, insanityand diminished responsibility). All you need to do is sort them out into the correct defence. For each you need to identify: Outcome Example Cause Meaning
Key Case R v Sullivan 1984 1. What was the condition D was suffering from? 2. What are the facts of the case? 3. What does „disease of the mind‟ mean legally? 4. Does the impairment need to be permanent? 5. What could cause “non-insane automatism”? 6. What is the only way that the law could be changed?AO2: Is our definition of disease of the mind appropriate?
A real issue: What about sleepwalking?Classic approach: Burgess Murder: What implication does this have for Lowe 2007 the general population? Thomas 2009 Is the verdict appropriate for the defendants?
Different crimes, different rules? R v BiltonFacts:Why was non-insane automatism allowed to go tothe jury? Do you agree with the outcome of the case?Why/why not? confirmed in... R v Ecott 2007
“The current response to the problem of sleepwalking is confused and unclear” Student Task: Developing your reasoning Decide whether or not you agree with the statement above... and why! Challenge: Use at least one case in your reasoning.
Element Three: Nature and Quality Either You don‟t know what you are doing; Or You don‟t understand it.Thinking & applying the law… You are paranoid and convinced that Miss Hart has been taken over by and infected by the devil. You have tried talking to me and it doesn‟t work. You know that if you leave it, my stomach and internal organs will slowly be eaten away. To save me, you decide to cut me open knowing that I might die. Do you have a defence of insanity?
Element Four: It was wrong Moral? Legal? Codere 1916 Windle 1952wrong “according to the “Acting contrary to... ordinary reasonable The law of the land.”standard adopted by the reasonable man” Johnson 2007 Developing your AO2: What do you think the test should be? Why?
Evaluation of insanity... What are the issues? Student Task: Each of you will be given one of the areas below to evaluate and feedback to the class. Think about what you know about the defence, and think about the cases.Example:Contradicts Article 6of ECHR Definition developed It does include in the 19th Century „treatable‟ diseases Insanity is a legal definition, not a medicalThe decision is left to The definition is too narrow definitionthe jury Insanity still The Home Secretary The definition is too carries social decides when to broad stigma release them if an issue of murder. Very few people want to plead it.
Plenary:Assess your learningThinking about your target grade, what you want to achieve and your understanding… which can you answer? A Consider whether the recent reforms to the law on insanity have been successful Evaluate one issue with the current law on B insanity Describe the approach of the courts to the problem C of sleepwalking and insanity D Explain what the outcome of successfully pleading insanity is. E What is the definition of ‘insanity’
Homework• Using the information in the pack you have been given, produce an outline of the issues and reforms relating to mental condition defences.• This should be at least one side.• You do not have to use all the information... Stick to what you understand!
General Defence Two: AutomatismUnlike insane automatism, sane automatism results ona complete defence. There is no voluntary actus reus!
What is automatism legally? Bratty v Attorney General for Northern Ireland Any “act done by muscles without any control by the mind, such as a spasm, a reflex action or a convulsion, or an act done by a person who is not conscious of what he doing such as an act done whilst suffering from concussion or sleep walking.” Denning LJ
Other examples? Hill v Baxter T• Must be some medical • PTSD could be enough as evidence, a ‘mere assertion’ long as it manifests itself is not enough physically.• A swarm of bees or sneeze • But the ratio of Narborough could constitute an 2006 seems to have limited involuntary action. this.Confirmed in Woolley 1997
Is Partial Loss of Self-Control Enough? Attorney-General’s Reference (No.2 of 1992) 1993 1. What was the question posed to the court? 2. What were the facts of the offence? 3. Was D convicted? How do you know? 4. What is the difference between insane and non-insane automatism? Give an example for each. 5. What was the basis of the plea of automatism? 6. Which part of the Burgess test did the facts fail? Confirming the earlier ratio of Broome v Perkins
Self induced automatism? General rule: R v Bailey D was reckless in getting D has a different reaction to into the automatistic state. the drug than expected. It’s the result of voluntarily taken drink or drugsR v Lipman R v Bailey R v Hardie
Hmmm...How much do youremember about Automatism?
Section C QuestionsRashid suffers from diabetes. He has previously sufferedblackouts due to hyperglycaemia and been placed on medicationwhich he normally takes three times per day. He fails to takehis insulin for a whole day and during the evening, while driving,he suffers from a blackout. He loses control of his car andcrashes into a pedestrian, Larissa, who is on the pavement.Larissa dies instantly.Evaluate the accuracy of each of the four statements A, B, C,and D individually, as they apply to the facts in the abovescenario.Statement A: Rashid may be charged with the manslaughter ofLarissa because the condition was self-induced.Statement B: Rashid may plead the defence of automatismStatement C: Rashid may be found not guilty by reason ofinsanity.Statement D: Rashid may be hospitalised in a secure institutionfor the mentally disordered if found not guilty by reason ofinsanity.
Across3. The key case - epileptic who came to tea (8)5. The correct term for sentencing when D isfound NGRI (7,7)8. The people who decide sanity (4)9. Condition suffered by Hennessey. (13)11. All people are presumed to be this (4)12. Condition D was afflicted with in R v Kemp,which he argued was physical (16)13. General term for the direction make under the1991 Act. (5)14. Case illustrating that forgetfullness is notsufficient (6)15. The key case on insanity, setting out the rules(9)16. One of the orders under the 1991 Act (10)Down1. The defect of mind must be caused bythis.(7,2,4)2. The test for wrong R v Windle (5)4. ............. and quality. One of the conditions (6)6. Sleepwalking = insanity (7)7. The ................ faculties of memory, reasoning andunderstanding. (8)9. case of the vengeful diabetic. An external causeis not sufficient for insanity (12)10. NGRI + this leads to automatic indefinatehospital detention. (6)