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Criminal | Offences Against The Person

Involuntary Manslaughter: Liability

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Involuntary Manslaughter: Gross Negligence

[Flash Card 1 of 3]

  • D not have intention to kill or cause serious bodily harm / discretionary sentence / maximum life
  • gross negligence / V dies as result of D's negligence

Actus Reus:

  • negligence must be sufficiently serious / anaesthetist failed notice disconnected pipe during an operation / was abysmal / sufficient for liability (Adomako)
  • four elements / duty of care / breach duty causes death /jury considers negligence gross / substantial cause of death (Adomako)

Duty of Care:

  • D's duty of care V / established using ordinary negligence principles (Adomako)
  • duty of care defined civil law / .. you must take care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour... (Donoghue v Stevenson)
  • liability imposed for omissions in limited situations / duty voluntarily taken on (Stone and Dobinson) / contractual terms (Litchfield) / complicity in a crime (Wacker)
  • may partly determined by public policy (Willoughby) / if D contributed to life threatening state of affairs (Evans)
bits of law

Involuntary Manslaughter: Gross Negligence

[Flash Card 2 of 3]

Gross Negligence:

  • D's negligence must be gross (Bateman) / Lord Atkin: .. a very high degree of negligence is required to be proved before the felony is established... (Andrews)
  • whether breach of duty serious enough / amount to gross negligence is jury decision / leads to inconsistency / not guilty in Finlay / compared to conviction in Edwards

Risk of Death:

  • risk of death caused by D's conduct / referred in Adomako
  • what is sufficient risk / risk to V's health and welfare (Stone and Dobinson) / previous test was disregard for the life and safety of others (Bateman)
  • lack of clarity / logical such a test is applied / not so uncertain as to breach Article 7 of ECHR (Misra)

Mens Rea:

  • involuntary manslaughter / D not have the intention to kill or cause serious harm
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Involuntary Manslaughter: Gross Negligence

[Flash Card 3 of 3]

Subjective Recklessness:

  • subjective approach / means D either intended injury or realised there was a risk of injury / & took that risk
  • unlawful act manslaughter / act must be objectively dangerous (Newbury and Jones) / but for non fatal assaults test can be subjective (Cunningham)
  • Lord Evans / nothing in the Adomako to exclude reckless manslaughter (Lidar) / appears subjective recklessness & gross negligence manslaughter exist in parallel
  • D in Lidar convicted of subjective recklessness manslaughter / could been convicted of gross negligence manslaughter / D as driver owed V duty of care / driving away with V half in the car could be breach / would be for jury to decide if was sufficient for gross negligence
  • if subjective test applied / means D only guilty / if at time of act / D intended injury / & realised risk of death or serious injury / & took that risk
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