- John ChildJohn ChildSenior Lecturer in Criminal Law, Birmingham Law School
- and David OrmerodDavid OrmerodLaw Commissioner for England and Wales, Professor of Criminal Justice at University College London
This chapter focuses on manslaughter, a common law homicide offence with an actus reus of unlawful conduct causing death. The chapter considers two categories of manslaughter: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter arises where D commits murder, but meets the criteria for one of the partial defences: loss of self-control, diminished responsibility, or suicide pact. Involuntary manslaughter arises where D does not commit murder, but commits a relevant manslaughter offence: unlawful act manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, or reckless manslaughter. The chapter explains statutory offences of unlawful killing (corporate manslaughter, driving causing death, infanticide, killing of a foetus) and concludes by outlining options for legal reform concerning voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and the structure of manslaughter offences. Relevant cases are highlighted with a summary of the main facts and judgment.