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R v Majewski

[1977] AC 443

Case summary last updated at 15/01/2020 07:29 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Majewski

A man was involved in a pub fight where he attacked the landlord, other customers and police officers. Given that his drunken state was self induced, his defence of intoxication was not to be admitted. Lord Elwyn Jones says that getting so drunk was reckless, and he deprived himself of self control, therefore he is to blame. LORD Salmon refers to the precedent of Lipman, where a man under influence of hallucinatory drugs suffocated a woman by stuffing clothes down her throat in the belief that she was a snake and was convicted. He regards this as a socially important policy lest people be freed from personal responsibility and the law be brought into disrepute. The argument that section 8 requires all evidence (including drunkenness) to be taken into account and therefore to ignore drunkenness is illegal, is wrong. Section 8 is a law of evidence not a substantive law itself. 

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