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Complete Criminal LawText, Cases, and Materials

Complete Criminal Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (7th edn)

Janet Loveless, Mischa Allen, and Caroline Derry
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date: 26 March 2023

p. 2276. Homicide 1: murderlocked

p. 2276. Homicide 1: murderlocked

  • Janet Loveless, Janet LovelessFormer Senior Lecturer in Law, London Metropolitan University
  • Mischa AllenMischa AllenAssociate Lecturer in Law, The Open University
  •  and Caroline DerryCaroline DerryLecturer in Law, The Open University


This chapter, which examines homicide law in Great Britain, focusing on murder, explains that the term homicide includes the offences of murder and manslaughter and can also be used to refer to other forms of statutory offences of killing. It clarifies that murder refers to intentional killings while manslaughter concerns unintentional killings, and discusses actus reus and mens rea elements of murder. The chapter discusses the sentence for murder under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and comments on the justification for mandatory life sentence. It also reviews the most recent proposals for reform of murder and the mandatory sentence, and analyses court decisions in relevant cases.

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