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Involuntary Manslaughter Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Criminal Law Notes

This is an extract of our Involuntary Manslaughter document, which we sell as part of our GDL Criminal Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.

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Criminal: Involuntary Manslaughter


involuntary manslaughter: all unlawful homicide other than murder. no malice aforethought: distinguished from murder. difficult to define:
[Ld Atkin] in Andrews v DPP [1937]: 'so many and so varying conditions ... absence of intent to kill, but with the presence of an element of "unlawfulness" which is the elusive factor'. Law Commission Report: risk of becoming amorphous 'catch-all' offence. 2 forms considered:

1. unlawful act (or constructive) manslaughter: d. causes victim's death as result of committing some other, lesser criminal offence.

2. gross negligence manslaughter: d. causes victim's death as result of grossly negligent behaviour.

Unlawful Act (Constructive) Manslaughter

constructive manslaughter: d. lacks MR for murder, but kills someone in course of committing a crime.

- Definition: DPP v Newbury and Jones [1977]: d. pushed concrete paving slab onto oncoming train, killed guard.

1. d. intentionally (voluntarily) did an act

2. act was unlawful

3. act was dangerous

4. act caused death of victim.

- Defendant's act was intentional: only act, not consequences must be intended (i.e. voluntarily done).

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