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Murder Ar Notes

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A more recent version of these Murder Ar notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Revision: Criminal

Actus Reus: "unlawful killing of a reasonable person under the Queen's peace" a) "Unlawful" Unless:

1. Killing enemy soldiers in battle

2. Advancement of justice (e.g. death penalty)

3. Self-defence (if necessary in the prevention of crime or protection of self, others or property)

b) Killing


Must cause the death of the victim

c) "A reasonable person in being"


Victim must be a person (human being)


'In being' when born alive and capable of independent life o

R v Poulton (1832) - child must be fully expelled from the mother's body


AG-Ref (No 3 of 1994): stabbing of pregnant woman, child was born prematurely and died but HL said couldn't be murder of the child as it was not a live person when stabbed



But - R v Reeves (1839) - not necessary for umbilical cord to be cut

Determining the point of death - brain has stopped workin

Causation Factual Causation: The "but for" test


But for the act, the relevant consequence would not have occurred


R v White [1910) - W put poison in his mother's drink (2 grains of cyanide of potassium), with the intention of killing her - she was then found dead, but due to a heart attack - no evidence


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