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R v Luc Thiet-Than

[1997] AC 131

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

Judgement for the case R v Luc Thiet-Than

 The defendant admitted killing someone but he had a brain damage problem which made the slightest acts provoke him. The judge ruled that such a condition would only be relevant to diminished responsibility, not provocation, and he was convicted of murder. The CA and HL dismissed his appeal. HL says that assessing individual’s characteristics was relevant in assessing strength of provocation to them, but they are expected to have the objectively “reasonable man’s” level of self control, as did Lord Diplock in Camplin. (This is stupid: Morhall and Camplin acknowledge that a provocation which was extreme to a person for whatever reason (rape, addiction etc) gave them a defence of provocation when they reacted through killing someone. Here that is abandoned) Lord Steyn, dissenting, says that in fact Diplock’s reasoning is odd: Age was not relevant to feeling a sense of greater provocation: age is only relevant in that young people have less self control and therefore the distinction between strength of provocation and self control doesn’t really work: What the reg v camplin decision actually shows is that any characteristics, including mental ones, do mitigate the reaction. 

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