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Criminal Law ConcentrateLaw Revision and Study Guide

Criminal Law Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide (7th edn)

Jonathan Herring
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date: 01 December 2023

p. 16114. Defences Ilocked

p. 16114. Defences Ilocked

  • Jonathan HerringJonathan HerringProfessor of Law, Exeter College, University of Oxford


Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter examines the defences of age, insanity, automatism, intoxication, and mistake. If D is under the age of ten, he is deemed incapable of criminal liability. Insanity is where D proves he had a disease of mind which caused a defect of reason so that D did not know the nature and quality of his act or that it was wrong. Non-insane automatism is an assertion by D that the prosecution cannot prove the actus reus of the offence because D was not in control of his muscular movements. Intoxication rarely succeeds as a defence. Involuntary intoxication is a defence if D does not form mens rea. Voluntary intoxication is a defence only if D is charged with a specific intent crime and D did not form mens rea. Mistake is a defence provided the mistake prevents D forming mens rea.

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