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  1. 1. Diminished Responsibility <br />ALL will be able to identify where the defence of diminished responsibility comes from<br />MOST will be able to explain the effect of a successful plea of diminished responsibility <br />SOME will be able to explain the law in relation to diminished responsibility<br />
  2. 2. What is voluntary manslaughter? <br />Voluntary Manslaughter is where the Defendant has committed murder, but raises a special (partial) defence which justifies a lesser sentence (and avoids mandatory life). <br />D is notaquitted if successful in raising this defence. <br />The judge can issue any sentence they feel appropriate (up to life imprisonment)<br />There are only one of three circumstances where D can raise a special defence: <br />Diminished Responsibility<br />Loss of Control <br />Suicide Pact (not studied in the course)<br />It is a special defence because it can only be used where D is charged with murder. <br />
  3. 3. TASK 1<br />What is voluntary manslaughter?<br />What is the effect of a successful plea of voluntary manslaughter? <br />What three circumstances may a defendant use for voluntary manslaugter? <br />What is a special defence? <br />
  4. 4. Diminished Responsibility <br />Introduced by Homicide Act 1957 and amended by Coroners and Justice Act 2009– previously if a person with mental problems killed, only defence insanity.<br />Definition is set out in S2 Homicide Act 1957 as amended by S52 Coroners & Justice Act 2009 and requires the defendant to prove (on a balance of probabilities): <br />D was suffering from abnormality of mental functioning<br />Which is due to recognised medical condition<br />Which substantially impairs D’s ability to understand nature of conduct OR form rational judgment OR exercise self control<br />The abnormality provides explanation for D causing V’s death : causal link between medical condition & killing<br />
  5. 5. TASK 2<br />Where does the authority for diminished responsibility come from? <br />Who has to prove the defence? <br />What standard does this burden have to be proven by? <br />What 4 things must be proven for diminished responsibility to be successful? <br />
  6. 6. What is Abnormality of Mental Functioning?<br />objective view of what is ‘abnormal’: reasonable man’s view<br />TEST for abnormality of mental functioning: ‘state of mind so different from that of ordinary people that the reasonable person would term it abnormal’ – R v Byrne [1960]. Although this case uses the old test, it’s likely the courts will use this definition. <br />
  7. 7. TASK 3<br />What does ‘abnormality of mental functioning’ mean? Use authority! <br />
  8. 8. Cause of abnormality of mental functioning<br />Such inability must be due to a recognised medical condition<br />Does not have to be permanent, but must exist at time of killing<br />Case examples pre-amended defence:<br />psychopath:R v Byrne (1960)<br />depression:R v Seers (1984) <br />Battered Woman Syndrome: R v Ahluwalia (1992)<br />NB: Can be induced by disease or injury BUT NOT INTOXICATION, UNLESS reached state where Brain has been injured – drinking involuntary – R v Tandy (1989) CA<br />However, CA recently shown more sympathy for D’s who kill while suffering from ADS: alcohol dependence Syndrome : R v Wood [2003] – no longer prove brain damage – up to jury to decide if alcoholism substantially impaired D’s ability … & that D’s alcohol consumption directly resulted from ADS.<br />NB: There must be medical evidence at the trial to prove abnormality of mental functioning.<br />
  9. 9. Task 4<br />What must cause the abnormality of mental functioning? <br />Give some examples of abnormality of mental functioning. <br />What evidence must be provided in order to prove this? <br />
  10. 10. Abnormality must substantially impair D’s acts or omissions<br />i.e. D must not be able to understand the consequences of his actions/find it difficult to rationalise/have self control due to his abnormality of the mind. <br />To what degree (must be substantial) is a Q for the jury to decide: Lloyd (1967) – does not mean total, nor does it mean minimal; something in between. <br />
  11. 11. What must be substantially impaired?<br />D must do 1 of 3 things in order for the jury to consider him to be substantially impaired:<br />D must not be able to understand nature of conduct – includes situations where D doesn’t know what he is doing e.g. automatic state.<br />OR form rational judgment (whether act is right or wrong)<br />OR exercise self control – e.g. Byrne (was unable to control perverted desires)<br />
  12. 12. Task 5<br />The abnormality of mental functioning must substantially impair D’s acts or omissions. What three ways may D be substantially impaired? <br />What does ‘substantial impairment’ mean? <br />
  13. 13. The abnormality must provide an explanation for D’s conduct<br />Is it the CAUSE or SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTING FACTOR in causing D to carry out his conduct which killed V?<br />E.g. Is there a causal link between the medical condition & the killing? <br />NB: Abnormality of the mind need not be the only factor that caused D to be involved in the killing but it must be the significant factor. <br />
  14. 14. Task 6<br />It must be proven that the abnormality of the mind was the causal link for the killing, but what does this mean?<br />
  15. 15. Abnormality of mental functioning and intoxication<br />Was D intoxicated at the time of the killing? If so, D’s abnormality of mental functioning must be a significant factor in causing the victims death. It is irrelevant if he was intoxicated: (Dietschmann).<br />NB: Drinking/taking drugs is not a medical condition even if it has an effect on the brain unless it creates a recognised abnormality of mental functioning: Di Duca<br />However where D suffering from alcoholism (and the alcoholism was a significant factor in causing V’s death) this would be considered an abnormality of mental functioning: Wood (2008)<br />
  16. 16. Task 7<br />What is the effect of intoxication on the defence? <br />
  17. 17. How has the law been reformed? <br />Defence recently updated to deal with many of the previous problems identified by the Law Commission report Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide (2006):<br />Allows for developments in medical science by allowing the phrase ‘recognised medical condition’ <br />The new act also sets out what must be substantially impaired whereas the old one didn’t. i.e. D must not be able to understand the nature of his conduct; to form a rational judgement or exercise self control. <br />
  18. 18. Are there any problems that still exist? <br />Yes! <br />Nearly every other defence raised by D has to be disproved by the Pros. For DR D raises but has to prove it. This conflicts with article 6 ECHR (innocent until proven guilty). <br />This can also be difficult for jurors to understand as many D’s will run two defences at once and will have different burdens for the jury to consider. <br />Medical evidence shows that the frontal lobes of the brain (responsible for self-control) do not develop until 14, which conflicts with the age of criminal responsibility as developmental maturity is not the same as a learning disability and may not fall within the ‘recognised medical condition’ criteria for mental functioning. <br />
  19. 19. Who does the burden rest with? <br />By what standard does the burden have to be proven? <br />What are the current problems with the law on diminished responsibility?<br />What is the effect of a successful plea of diminished responsibility?<br />If D is intoxicated at the time of the killing, what must be proven (refer to legal authority)?<br />What is the test for abnormality of mental functioning? Byrne (1960_<br />DIMINISHED RESPONSIBILITY<br />Definition comes from? as amended by <br />What 4 things must be proven ?<br />1. <br />2. <br />3. <br />4.<br />Causation needs to be satisfied. What needs to be established for this to be proven?<br />What evidence needs to be obtained in order for mental functioning to be proven?<br />Does the abnormality of mental functioning need to be permanent? <br />What does substantially impair mean refer to authority?<br />Give some examples of what would constitute abnormality of mental functioning with supporting authority.<br />What one of three things would constitute substantial impairment? Where D doesn’t…<br />1. <br />2. <br />3. <br />Whether D is substantially impaired is a question for who to decide?<br />