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Criminal | Offences Against The Person

Voluntary Manslaughter: Loss of Control

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Voluntary Manslaughter: Loss of Control

[Flash Card 1 of 2]

  • D would otherwise be guilty murder / plead partial defence / guilty of manslaughter / more sentencing discretion
  • loss of control / defined S54 CJA 2009 /replaces provocation under HA 1957
  • must prove / D lost self control / there was qualifying trigger / person of same sex & age would have reacted in same way in circumstances

Self Control:

  • loss of self control at time of killing / for provocation had to be sudden / no such requirement under CJA 2009

Qualifying Trigger:

  • must be qualifying trigger / defined S55 CJA 2009
  • fear of violence / not sufficient for provocation (Martin)
  • D not have to fear violence from V / cannot be general fear / must relate to specific identified person (CJA 2009)
  • things said or done / may be qualifying trigger / if extremely grave character / & caused D justifiable sense of being seriously wronged (CJA 2009)
  • tests not part of provocation / narrows defence
  • D killed 19 day old baby / crying constantly / conviction quashed under provocation / difficult to meet new burden (Doughty)
  • extremely grave character not defined as subjective or objective test / explanatory notes state justifiable sense of being seriously wronged is objective test
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Voluntary Manslaughter: Loss of Control

[Flash Card 2 of 2]

Excluded Matters:

  • sexual infidelity / previously argued unfair (Humes (AG Ref No 95))
  • revenge / requirement for sudden loss under provocation / implicitly excluded revenge (Ibrahms & Gregory)
  • previously if element of revenge & sudden loss / provocation allowed (Baillie) / uncertain in future

Standard of Self Control:

  • relevant characteristics / sex & age /codified statute (S54(1)(c) CJA 2009)
  • developed previously in case law / age considered (Camplin) / only age & sex relevant (AG for Jersey v Holley)


  • sex & age / only characteristics considered in relation to loss of control / other circumstances D considered /deciding whether others may have reacted in the same way / as under provocation
  • D's epilepsy, depression and unemployment / considered in relation to gravity of provocation (Gregson)
  • D sexually abused as a child / V tried to sexually assault D / successfully argued provocation (Hill)
bits of law
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