- Ms Benjamin`s law site

Learning Objectives
1. Recall the law relating to Voluntary
Manslaughter- Diminished
Q: How do we prove murder?
Q: What is voluntary
Voluntary Manslaughter is a partial
defence to murder reducing charge
from murder to manslaughter. This
gives the judge discretion regarding
Diminished responsibility
Loss of Control
You would only look at voluntary manslaughter
when you have proven the elements for murder,
but consider there to be a defence of one of the
Diminished Responsibility
Coroners and Justice Act 2009
Defendant has to prove on the balance of
probabilities, however for other defences eg. Loss of
control Defendant just needs to raise the defence
and the prosecution need to disprove.
Diminished responsibility
Abnormality of Mental
Is there a causal
connection between
abnormality and killing?
CJA’2009 s1(b)
Medical Condition
Did D understand nature
of conduct?
Can D form a rational
Can D exercise self
Substantially impaired
Cannot be itself support DR as it is not a recognised medical
condition (Di Duca (1959), unless….
D Has a medical
impairment and is drunk
Drinking has caused a
medical impairment
Defendant has to prove DR on balance of responsibilities.
Voluntary Manslaughter
Can I explain, illustrate and apply the
law relating to diminished
responsibility and loss of control?
Loss of Control
-Defendant must have lost control but unlike
previous law (Ahluwalia 1992) it does not have
to be sudden.
Loss of self control must have been caused by a
qualifying trigger.
Qualifying Trigger
• Fear of serious Violence
• Things said or done of ‘grave character’
• Justifiable sense of wrongdoing.
Key points
Would a person of normal self restraint react in
a similar way? (Van Dongen (2005)
Use your printouts to complete your summary of
the partial defence of Loss of Control
Look at the daily mail article and write
down any key differences between the
defence of provocation and loss of
Look at the case of Clinton (2012)
and the court’s ‘application’ of
Exam Question
• Despite some recent reforms, there are still
criticisms to be made of the current law on
murder and voluntary manslaughter. Consider
relevant criticisms of that law, and suggest any
reforms that may be appropriate. (25 marks)
Loss of self-control
Qualifying trigger
Loss of Control
Other Circumstances
Same sex & Age

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