Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 to an extent has added to the existing criminal remedies by focussing not just on the physicality of domestic violence but also the psychological aspect in terms of controlling and coercive behaviour (coercive meaning acts used to harm or frighten and controlling meaning acts used to make another subordinate by isolating and depriving them ). However, it has not significantly changed the rules of evidence in protecting victims of domestic violence. In this light, it can be argued that there are problems with the implementation of section 76 in that it does not fully protect victims of domestic violence.
The criminal justice system plays a fundamental role in achieving justice, as the system aims to protect all members of the community fairly and equally. However, in the criminal case of R v Loveridge, it is evident that the justice system fails to apply the law to equally balance the needs of the victims and the community. In this case, the offender Kieran Loveridge pleaded guilty to five counts of offences; three charges of common assault, one charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one charge of manslaughter by an unlawful and dangerous act, the victim being Thomas Kelly, Loveridge received 4 years’ non-parole for manslaughter, Loveridge’s total effective sentence therefore is 7 years and 2 months with an effective
It is to be submitted that the proposal of the Law Commission in the 2013 Discussion Paper presents on balance the most fitted approach to non-responsibility defences, since it eradicates the current illogical distinction between ‘insanity’ and ‘automatism’. Under this proposal, the ‘M’Naghten rule’ should be abolished and replaced by a new non-responsibility defence relevant to those cases of ‘total lack of criminal capacity resulting from a recognised medical condition (provided the other criteria of the defence are met) without limiting it to mental disorders’, assuming no culpable fault. The pertinent criminal capacities in this defence are the abilities to make a rational judgment, to comprehend the wrongfulness of a conduct and to have control of one’s body. This general defence would lead to the special verdict ‘not criminally responsible by reason of a recognized medical condition’ and disposal powers may attach. Under the ‘recognised medical condition defence’ the accused would only have an evidential burden and it would be for the prosecution to disprove beyond reasonable doubt that he/she is not criminally liable by reason of a recognised medical condition. Regarding automatism, the common law defence would be abolished and the reformed defence would be
Capital Punishment was abolished “under Harold Wilson’s Labour government in 1969” (Manton.K, 2011, P.16) in the United Kingdom, but there have been continuing debates concerning the reinstatement of the death penalty in the UK.(BBC NEWS, 2011) reports that the Conservative party MP calls for submission on capital punishment in the UK. The Brigg and Goole MP “is one of a number of Tory backbenchers calling for a commons debate of the return of capital punishment.”(BBC NEWS, 5th August 2011) Currently, Paul Staines, who writes the Guido Fawkes ‘ calls for the death to be brought back for child and police officer murderers,” he carried out a public opinion poll, which recommends that around half the population want capital punishment to be reinstated for murders ‘ this rises to 60% when it comes to child or police officer kills’, furthermore his e-petition on the government website needs ‘100,000 people to support’ it so that there could possibly be a preliminary debate on the issue (BBC NEWS, 4th August 2011). As Mr. Staines statistics poll shows, in 2011 that there is a high percent of the public that requests capital punishment to be reinstated in the UK for serious crimes such as; murder, child murder and police officer kills.
The court must listen to the evidence received by two doctors and their evidence must satisfy the court that the offender is suffering from a mental illness as described under the definition above and that their detention is appropriate for medical treatment to take place. They must also assert the court that appropriate medical treatment is available for the offender and when considering to imposing the above order the courts must also take into consideration the offenders history and character; any other relevant circumstances and any other alternative methods that could be imposed. All other avenues must also be explored before the court makes its final decision. the evidence given by the doctors must ascertain the court that hospitalisation is the most beneficial course of action to take in this offenders case (MHLO, 2010)
Many court cases involve some type of syndrome-based defense, whether it be anything from battered women’s syndrome to Vietnam syndrome to fetal alcohol syndrome to attention deficit disorder. In these cases, the accused tries to use their disease or disorder as a reason to get a not guilty charge. A syndrome-based defense is a defense based on the acceptability of syndrome-related claims. Since syndromes are viewed as diseases or disorders, we might anticipate the development based on other disorders, perhaps Alzheimer’s, alcoholism, or drug addiction.
Provocation was previously controlled under S2 of the homicide act 1957, the act stated where a person kills or is party to a killing of another, he shall not be convicted of murder if he was suffering from such abnormality of mind as substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his acts and omissions in doing or being a party to the killing. The new defence S54-56 Coroners and Justice Act 2009 replaced defence of Provocation S3 Homicide Act 1957; it came into force October 2010.
This essay will ultimately contend that the Sentencing Amendment (Coward 's Punch Manslaughter and Other Matters) Act 2014 is an ill-founded initiative made by legislators, giving the impression of a powerful Government without truly reducing the violence. Using a close reading of each provision of the legislation in unison with extrinsic materials, this piece will outline the efficacy, necessity and likely impacts of the Act.
To discuss the role of the battered women’s syndrome in relation to how characteristics of a victim affect legal decision-making it is important to define what battered women’s syndrome is. Battered women’s syndrome is the array of physical and
However, it could be argued that offenders may abuse this defence as a means of having their sentence reduced. A problem with the use of this defence by offenders is that their victim is not present to dispute their version of events. Unless there are witnesses to the events that take place it is difficult to refute the statements of the offender that they were provoked. The defence may also (in the absence of the victim) denigrate the character of the victim in their attempts to paint him/her as someone who is highly likely to cause a loss of control by an ordinary person. In criminal cases the burden of proof lies with the prosecution and in the absence of a witness to the crime it is difficult to prove that the offender was not provoked such that an ordinary person would lose control and in turn form the intent to kill or cause really serious bodily harm.
Despite recent reforms on the law of murder and voluntary manslaughter; including the special defence of diminished responsibility and loss of control, there are still inconsistencies present making the law unsatisfactory. This area of the law is in ‘dire need of reform’; as pointed out by the Law Commission in their 2006 report; Murder, Manslaughter and infanticide. The report stated how ‘The Law governing homicide in England and Wales is a rickety structure built upon shaky foundations.’
This essay will critically analyse the significant changes that have occurred within domestic violence which is viewed as a vital subject within the criminal justice system. It will explore the way that domestic violence has progressively become a concerning issue in the criminal justice system from being relatively acceptable in recent history. In addition to this, the essay will explore legislation changes in relation to domestic violence and how the police have arguably been forced to change their attitudes towards a problem that was once thought of as a private regard. It will critically analyse the theories put forward as to why domestic violence occurs in today’s society. It will explore the weaknesses within the criminal justice system, especially the police in regards to domestic violence, the police previously viewed domestic violence as a matter of which they should not get involved. However as mentioned in the essay, after many reviews within the system, many improvements have been made to help protect the victim.
Another article connects domestic violence with personal control. Research showed that woman victims of domestic violence may have some undermine feelings of low personal control. The consequence of domestic violence are substantial in terms of physical injuries, psychological and emotional distress, and substance abuse among victims. The loss of personal control has been associated with depression, substance abuse, suicide, and a loss of self esteem among female victims. This article concludes that there is a strong link between the loss of personal control and domestic violence (Johnson 2005).
The Supreme Court case, R v Murray, states that the appellant pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder – where the appellant was found guilty of manslaughter – where, although the appellant intended to kill the deceased, he was only criminally responsible for manslaughter because of provocation under section 304 - where the appellant was sentenced to nine years imprisonment under section 161B - where there was a declaration that the applicant had been convicted of a serious violence offence. Where the case R v McDougall and Collas was applied as a precedent to the final decision of the case.
On the original hearing, Ahluwalia was convicted of murder as the law on provocation required the loss of self control to be immediate, not premeditated and this may have been the case as the defendant waited for her husband to sleep before murdering him. However, the law has since developed and provocation now recognises 'battered woman's syndrome' and the slow burn effect it may cause. If this is the case, then surely a defendant in such a situation cannot face the full wrath of 'fault' when much of what surrounded the killing was not out of their choice. Even though the actus reus and mens rea in this case, and also similar cases of R v Duffy 1949 and R v Thornton 1992, were present, the law's introduction of a Domestic Violence Bill is perhaps confirmation that the concept of fault can only be appropriately applied when the full circumstances are looked at. This signifies the importance of defences, as it is here that the law can decide whether or not a person is to blame for their actions and to what extent it was their fault that the actus reus and mens rea were