Murder is the unlawful killing of a reasonable creature in being under the Queen’s peace within any country of the realm with malice aforethought express or implied. The Law Commission Report ‘Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide’ (2006) described the law on murder as a “rickety structure set upon shaky foundation”.
It mentions the serious harm rule which is where the defendant is liable for murder if they kill with the intention of inflicting serious harm as well as if they intend to kill. Under the present law there is a lack of distinction between intent to kill and intent to cause GBH. For example, if a person intended to cause GBH and was unaware that death would occur they would be guilty of something they didn’t foresee. This has been...
There is a lack of a clear definition of loss of self-control
The Coroners and Justices Act 2009 replaced the partial defence for provocation with loss of control (LOC). In terms of its effectiveness compared to the old law, some argue that LOC is wider as there is no requirement for it be a sudden loss of control, and fear of serious violence can be considered. However, it can also be seen as narrower as the defence is limited; things said or done must be ‘extremely grave’ in nature and have caused a justifiable sense of being wronged in the defendant. ‘Extremely grave’ and ‘justifiably’ are very subjective, allowing for too much leeway and variability in an unskilled jury.
In addition, sexual infidelity is no longer a sole qualifying trigger (QT) but it can be considered in conjunction with other QTs (Clinton). It has also been argued that it is unfair sexual infidelity is excluded as a qualifying trigger; it has been put forward that many people would lose control after finding out about partner having an affair. Validating it in one scenario and voiding it in another highlights the ambivalence of this area of law and it’s lack of direction. The LC’s proposed reform is the removal of loss of control in favour of manslaughter (see above). This proposition is backed by cases where, for example, the defendant is in an abusive relationship with the victim and they suffer from a loss of control, spurred by combination of circumstantial emotions, e.g. R v...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document