A more recent version of these Involuntary Manslaughter notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.
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Involuntary Manslaughter _______________________________________________________
Unlawful Act Manslaughter Also known as constructive manslaughter Kennedy No. 2(above) Lord Bingham's 3 core elements of unlawful act manslaughter:
1. D voluntarily committed an unlawful act
2. The unlawful act was a dangerous crime
3. The unlawful act was a significant cause of death The mens rea for the unlawful act will constitute the actus reus of the UAM Criminal unlawful act: Larkin suggests criminal standard of unlawful act R v Lamb Held: definition of assault is the immediate apprehension of personal violence &
here the mistake meant there could be no apprehension - without the mens rea
& actus reus of the unlawful act you cannot have unlawful act manslaughter 'Dangerous': R v Church (above)
? Edmund Davies LJ: the unlawful action must be dangerous, which means that a sober and reasonable person would consider the act capable of causing V some harm. The is an OBJECTIVE standard DPP v Newbury Two 15 yo Ds threw paving slab off railway bridge which killed a train driver, V Held: (HL) no necessity of subjective foresight needed for harm; a normative standard of foreseeable harm resulting from dangerous criminal act - didn't actually identify the unlawful act however R v JF and NE Teen Ds set fire to a duvet which asphyxiated a sleeping homeless man V Held: (CA) dismissing the appeal based on a misdirection including foreseeability
& intention, that if anything the trial judge had been too generous to Ds in including a subjective element of risk awareness in constituting arson as an unlawful act for manslaughter - normative assessment of dangerous needed only
- unfairness borne of this must be changed by Parliament R v Andrews Injection of insulin - strict liability offence under Medicines Act - leading to death
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