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Criminal | Defences

Automatism: Criteria

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  • defence in relation to all offences / if D successfully argues / D found not liable & acquitted
  • two elements required / act is involuntary / caused by external factor

Involuntary Act:

  • D must acted involuntarily / Lord Denning: .. no act is punishable if it is done involuntarily...(Bratty)
  • involuntary defined as mind not controlling limbs in purposeful way / partial control can undermine defence (AG's Ref (No2 of 1992))
  • External Factor:

  • must be caused by external factor / not internal such as disease (Quick)
  • general principle / internal factors lead to insanity / external factors to automatism
  • D driving stolen car while disqualified / was diabetic & not taken insulin in 4 days / D argued suffering hyperglycaemia / can lead to unconscious actions / found hyperglycaemia caused by internal factor (diabetes) / automatism not available / insanity was (Hennessey)
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