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Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law (10th edn)

Jeremy Horder
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date: 04 December 2023

p. 2718. Homicidelocked

p. 2718. Homicidelocked

  • Jeremy HorderJeremy HorderProfessor of Criminal Law, London School of Economics and Political Science


This chapter discusses homicide offences. It covers in detail murder, defences specific to murder (resulting in a verdict of so-called ‘voluntary’ manslaughter), and so-called ‘involuntary’ manslaughter. However, these traditional topics no longer cover the whole ground, as Parliament has created a number of new homicide offences in recent years. It concludes with a review of the structure of the law of homicide, considering the question whether it is satisfactory to retain the centuries-old current structure, with murder at the top, and then manslaughter of different kinds beneath that, together with a hotchpotch of specialized homicide offences with varying degrees of gravity. For example, would the law be improved by introducing a new category of ‘second degree’ murder?

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