Case link: Automatism – insanity – Bratty v Attorney General of Northern Ireland [1961] UKHL 3

“The Court of Criminal Appeal certified that their decision in dismissing the Appellant’s appeal involved two points of law of general public importance. The first was ” whether, his plea of insanity having been rejected by ” the jury, it was open to the accused to rely upon a defence of automatism “. This raises the question whether a person who by legal tests and standards is sane and who is charged with a criminal offence could be held to be non-accountable for his actions so as to be not guilty of the offence charged against him on the basis that his actions had been unconscious ones and in that sense involuntary.

The second point of law certified was expressed in these words: ” If the ” answer to (1) be in the affirmative, whether, on the evidence, the defence of automatism should have been left to the jury.” This raises the question whether there was any evidence of ” automatism ” which was fit to be left to the jury.”

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Case link: Duress – characteristics – Bowen [1996] EWCA Crim 1792

“What are the relevant characteristics of the accused to which the jury should have regard in considering the second objective test in duress. This question has given rise to considerable difficulty in recent cases. It seems clear that age and sex are, and physical health or disability may be, relevant characteristics. But beyond that it is not altogether easy to determine from the authorities what others may be relevant.”

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Case link: Defence – consent – Attorney General’s Reference No 6 of 1980 [1981] EWCA Crim 1

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“This is a reference to the Court by the Attorney General under section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972. The point of law upon which the Court is asked to give its opinion is as follows: “Where two persons fight (otherwise than in the course of sport) in a public place can it be a defence for one of those persons to a charge of assault arising out of the fight that the other consented to fight.”

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Case link: Sexual assault – intoxication – Heard [2007] EWCA Crim 125

“This appellant was convicted in the Crown Court at Maidstone of an offence of sexual assault contrary to section 3 Sexual Offences Act 2003. The issue to which his conviction gives rise is whether he can or cannot be heard to say that by reason of voluntary intoxication he did not have the necessary state of mind to commit the offence.”

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Case link: Defence of property – Faraj [2007] EWCA Crim 1033

“It is well established that a genuine but mistaken belief can be relied upon as a defence to a criminal charge such as false imprisonment where the Crown have to prove that the defendant’s conduct was unlawful. This principle is well illustrated by the case of R v Gladstone Williams [1984] 78 CAR 276 where the appellant was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He had assaulted a man in the street in defence of another whom he had mistakenly believed was being unlawfully assaulted… So what about defence of property?”

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Case link: Insanity – intoxication – Attorney General for Northern Ireland v Gallagher BAILII: [1961] UKHL 2

“The man is a psychopath. That is, he has a disease of the mind which is not produced by drink. But it is quiescent. And whilst it is quiescent, he forms an intention to kill his wife. He knows it is wrong but still he means to kill her. Then he gets Himself so drunk that he has an explosive outburst and kills his wife. At that moment he knows what he is doing but he does not know
it is wrong. So in that respect—in not knowing it is wrong—fee has a defect of reason at the moment of killing. If that defect of reason is due to the drink, it is no defence in law. But if it is due to the disease of themind, it gives rise to a defence of insanity. No one can say, however,
whether it is due to the drink or to the disease. It may well be due to both in combination. What guidance does the law give in this difficulty?

That is, as I see it, the question of general public importance which is involved in this case.”

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Lecture presentation: Self-defence and prevention of crime

This recorded lecture presentation covers the defences of self-defence, defence of others, defence of property and prevention of crime. Topics include: mistakes and self-defence including drunken mistakes and mistakes as to the level of danger; the meaning of ‘reasonable force’ and the role of judge and jury; pre-emptive strikes; ‘self-induced’ self-defence; defence against non-criminal acts; the offences to which these defences may be raised’ and the relationship between self-defence and duress of circumstances; the effect of a successful plea; proposals for reform.

Principal authorities referred to: s3(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967; Palmer v R (1971); Scarlett (1994); Owino (1996); Attorney General for Northern Ireland’ Ref (No. 1 of 1975) (1976); Devlin v Armstrong (1971); Martin (2002) Shaw (2001); Beckford (1988); Attorney General’s reference (No. 2 of 1983) (1984); Rashford (2005); Burns v HM Advocate (1995); Johnson (1989); Williams (Gladstone) (1987); DPP v Bayer; Faraj (2007); Re A (Conjoined Twins) (2001); Renouf (1986); Blake v DPP (1933); Conway (1989); Symonds (1998); Clegg (1995); O’Grady (1987); Hatton (2005) and more…

The total lecture time is 63 minutes.

To test your knowledge it includes multiple choice questions and concludes with a 22 question test.

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