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Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland [1963] AC 386, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland [1963] AC 386, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland [1963] AC 386, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland [1963] AC 386, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Coley [2013] EWCA Crim 223, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Coley [2013] EWCA Crim 223, Court of Appeal. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Coley [2013] EWCA Crim 223, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Coley [2013] EWCA Crim 223, Court of Appeal. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Directions

13. Defences I: incapacity and negating the elements of the offence  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams, and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This chapter discusses the following general defences: infancy, insanity, automatism, intoxication (involuntary and voluntary), and mistake. Children under the age of ten are conclusively presumed incapable of committing a criminal offence. Insanity (insane automatism) is concerned with the defendant’s mental condition at the time of the offence. Automatism is available where the defendant suffers a total loss of control or is unaware of what he is doing. Involuntary intoxication may be a defence to any offence if the defendant does not have the mens rea for that offence. Voluntary intoxication is no defence to a basic intent offence. A mistake as to civil law may negate the mens rea of an offence.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan and Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law

13. Denials of an offence  

David Ormerod and John Child

This chapter deals with the rules on denials of an offence, a denial of one or more actus reus or mens rea elements. In particular, it considers three sets of rules relating to the denial of an offence: intoxication, sane automatism, and insanity. As well as discussing how each of these rules can be used by D to avoid liability, the chapter also focuses on how circumstances of ‘prior fault’ can be used by the prosecution to substitute for missing mens rea elements so as to construct liability. It also outlines potential options for legal reform concerning intoxication, sane automatism, and insanity, and concludes by considering how denials of offending based on intoxication, automatism, and insanity should be applied to problem facts. Relevant cases are highlighted throughout the chapter, with brief summaries of the main facts and judgments.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Essentials of Criminal Law

13. Denials of an offence  

This chapter deals with the rules on denials of an offence, a denial of one or more actus reus or mens rea elements. In particular, it considers three sets of rules relating to the denial of an offence: intoxication, sane automatism, and insanity. As well as discussing how each of these rules can be used by D to avoid liability, the chapter also focusses on how circumstances of ‘prior-fault’ can be used by the prosecution to substitute for missing mens rea elements so as to construct liability. It also outlines potential options for legal reform concerning intoxication, sane automatism, and insanity, and concludes by considering how denials of offending based on intoxication, automatism, and insanity should be applied to problem facts. Relevant cases are highlighted throughout the chapter, with brief summaries of the main facts and judgments.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

9. Mental conditions, intoxication and mistake  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter considers the most commonly occurring ‘mental condition defences’, focusing on the pleas of insanity, intoxication and mistake. The common law historically made a distinction between justification and excuse, at least in relation to homicide. It is said that justification relates to the rightness of the act but to excuse as to the circumstances of the individual actor. The chapter examines the relationship between mental condition defences, insanity and unfitness to be tried, and explains the Law Commission’s most recent recommendations for reforming unfitness and other mental condition defences. It explores the test of insanity, disease of the mind (insanity) versus external factor (sane automatism), insane delusions and insanity, burden of proof, function of the jury, self-induced automatism, intoxication as a denial of criminal responsibility, voluntary and involuntary intoxication, dangerous or non-dangerous drugs in basic intent crime and intoxication induced with the intention of committing crime.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Q&A Criminal Law

7. Defences  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, diagram answer plans, suggested answers, author commentary, and advice on study skills. This chapter presents sample exam questions focusing on the defences. The chapter covers the mental defences of insanity, automatism, and intoxication, as well as the compulsion defences of duress, necessity, and self-defence. Defences affecting the mental element can be quite similar, and there is considerable overlap. Therefore, questions on these defences need to be tackled technically and logically. The test for duress is tighter than in the past, and there is considerable debate over whether the defence of necessity exists at all.

Chapter

Cover Complete Criminal Law

6. Defences of incapacity and mental conditions  

This chapter examines the use of incapacity and mental condition defences for criminal offences in England and Wales. It discusses the general principles of the excusatory defence of insanity and of automatism as distinct from diminished responsibility and explores the notion that insanity is out of date and unrelated to contemporary classifications of mental illness. It considers whether insanity can be pleaded for all crimes and explains that intoxication will rarely reduce criminal liability. It explains and clarifies the Majewski rule and how it works. It also considers intoxicated mistake. The chapter evaluates arguments for and against the age of criminal responsibility and analyses court decisions in relevant cases.

Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

6. Criminal Capacity, Mens Rea, and Fault  

This chapter deals first with another fundamental requirement of a crime: criminal capacity. It is a precondition of criminal liability that the defendant is a person with sufficient capacity to be held responsible. This leads to an examination of infancy and insanity as barriers to criminal responsibility, and then to a consideration of special factors affecting corporate criminal liability. Second, this chapter considers fault requirements as an element of criminal offences. It explores some of the reasons for and against the criminal law requiring proof of fault in any form. It also considers principal varieties of fault requirement in the criminal law, such as intention and recklessness.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Concentrate

14. Defences I  

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.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

5. Capacity and incapacitating conditions  

Michael J. Allen and Ian Edwards

Course-focused and contextual, Criminal Law provides a succinct overview of the key areas on the law curriculum balanced with thought-provoking contextual discussion. A person should only be held criminally liable where he has the capacity to understand his actions, and to recognise the consequences which may flow from them; and, having understood them, where he has the capacity to control them. The criminal law recognises the requirement of rational capacity by excepting persons who lack rational capacity from liability in certain circumstances. This chapter examines the issues of the age of criminal responsibility, insanity and the M’Naghten Rules (including analysis of the meaning of a ‘disease of the mind’ and the cognitive tests for determining whether someone is legally insane), automatism, and intoxication (with analysis of the distinction between offences of specific intent and basic intent). A revised and updated ‘The law in context’ feature explores the treatment of mentally disordered defendants and offenders in the criminal justice system.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, & Ormerod's Text, Cases, & Materials on Criminal Law

23. Mental conditions  

This chapter considers the ways in which the criminal law treats people suffering from mental disorders. The following controversies are examined: when an individual can be regarded as mentally incapable of being tried; the relationship between insane and sane automatism; the extent to which the insanity defence reflects modern psychiatric practice; whether the lack of direct correlation between the medical and legal definitions of ‘insanity’ infringes the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR); and how the insanity defence ought to be reformed.