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R v Camplin

[1978] AC 705

Case summary last updated at 11/01/2020 16:00 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Camplin

 A boy was raped and killed his attacker. In directing on provocation, the judge directed that the jury must consider whether the provocation was enough to make a “reasonable man” (not a boy of the defendant’s age) react in the way he did. He was convicted of murder. CA held that the jury were entitled to take age into account and hence the conviction was substituted for one of manslaughter. HL dismissed the prosecution’s appeal. Lord Diplock says that a “reasonable man” doesn’t strictly mean the reasonable man. It means in fact what is reasonable for the person depending on age, sex, etc. The law does not require women to act like “reasonable men”. Diplock says that subjective characteristics can be used to take into account the gravity of provocation to each individual, but everyone is expected to exercise self control of a reasonable man (the implication here being that any reasonable man may be provoked into violence by being raped). 

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