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    I can't be bothered to put the actual Q here, but I'm just looking for some general advice.

    I know the basic structure in answering such a question.

    What I would like to know though is, what kind of things should I cover to get extra marks bearing in mind it is a problem question and not an essay one.

    My basic structure is going to be:

    - establish that a death has occured - definition of murder and establish the actus reus has taken place. (Coke)

    - discuss the mens rea (Maloney)

    - direct intention/oblique intention (Mohan/Nedrick/Woolin)

    - Go on to discuss 3 types of involuntary manslaughter:

    - Constructive manslaughter (this area applies most to my question, I will probably go into most detail here - would this be the right strategy?)

    - cover the possibility of gross negligence manslaughter and dismiss it.

    - do the same for reckless manslaughter. Should I be quite brief on the last two points?

    In regards to causation, should I discuss it seperately for each offence? Or cover it for all the offences in one part of my essay (begining or end?)

    I will ofcourse mention all the relevent cases for each aspect.

    Does anyone have any other advice/reccomendations for me? I'm basically looking for tips to earning extra marks and making sure my answer is of high quality.

    Thanks
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    You also need to cover the defences for murder: self-defence, provocation and diminished responsibility are the biggies. Less relevant are necessity and insanity but since you haven't mentioned the question I've no idea how they will apply to your question. Otherwise yes, your structure's good.
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    (Original post by Mr_Deeds)
    You also need to cover the defences for murder: self-defence, provocation and diminished responsibility are the biggies. Less relevant are necessity and insanity but since you haven't mentioned the question I've no idea how they will apply to your question. Otherwise yes, your structure's good.
    Wow, I was actually going to miss them out!

    I probably would have remembered, but never know.

    Thanks for that.

    Any reccomendations on any specific cases that I should mention for any of the points that need covering?

    One more Q - when answering a problem question on criminal law, how far off the actual problem is it acceptable to go, in terms of discussing the actual law/critical analysis of it? Should it be avoided all together, brief or still quite detailed even though its not an essay question?

    Thanks again.
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    (Original post by anonymouz)
    Wow, I was actually going to miss them out!

    I probably would have remembered, but never know.

    Thanks for that.

    Any reccomendations on any specific cases that I should mention for any of the points that need covering?

    One more Q - when answering a problem question on criminal law, how far off the actual problem is it acceptable to go, in terms of discussing the actual law/critical analysis of it? Should it be avoided all together, brief or still quite detailed even though its not an essay question?

    Thanks again.
    I wouldn't - I'd say it's acceptable to speculate and say "if the jury wasn't satisfied that he had the mens rea of murder, he could be convicted of (for example) unlawful act manslaughter based on the unlawful act of battery which he committed when he punched the bouncer", but nothing else! :yep:
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    (Original post by Mr_Deeds)
    You also need to cover the defences for murder: self-defence, provocation and diminished responsibility are the biggies. Less relevant are necessity and insanity but since you haven't mentioned the question I've no idea how they will apply to your question. Otherwise yes, your structure's good.
    Also the basic crux of the question is:

    A and B have a fall out. A decides its clever to commit some criminal damage (hoping to injure B), as a result C who is B's daughter is hurt seriously. C is taken to hospital where where she is recieves incorrectly administered medicine from which she eventually dies.

    Which reminds me, where would I cover within my structure the areas of transferred malice and medical negligence. I know the med neg is of very little significance probably in the scenario but still needs to be covered.

    Should transfered malice be discussed as part of mens rea? and if so, you didn't address where abouts in my structure I should cover it. (Edited, mistake)

    Sorry to be so demanding, but any help would be appreciated
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    Are all types of involuntary relevant to the question?
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    (Original post by Muppety_Kid)
    I wouldn't - I'd say it's acceptable to speculate and say "if the jury wasn't satisfied that he had the mens rea of murder, he could be convicted of (for example) unlawful act manslaughter based on the unlawful act of battery which he committed when he punched the bouncer", but nothing else! :yep:
    Cool, thanks for your input.

    You've probably been a law student for longer than me, but I'm sure i once got told I shouldn't say 'The court would decide/The jury ...' instead I should make the judgement myself in regards to the actual scenario but obviously not write 'I/me' etc. either. Or do you think its irrelevent?
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    (Original post by Aack)
    Are all types of involuntary relevant to the question?
    Not really I don't think, but I thought it would be better to give them some brief discussion and dismiss them.. or am i wasting my time?
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    (Original post by anonymouz)
    Not really I don't think, but I thought it would be better to give them some brief discussion and dismiss them.. or am i wasting my time?
    If it clearly isn't relevant, I wouldn't bother as it probably won't gain you marks.

    However, if you need to explain in order to distinguish, then do it.

    I can't really tell without seeing the question!
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    (Original post by Aack)
    If it clearly isn't relevant, I wouldn't bother as it probably won't gain you marks.

    However, if you need to explain in order to distinguish, then do it.

    I can't really tell without seeing the question!
    The question is in post #5. There isn't much more detail than that in the actual Q.
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    (Original post by anonymouz)
    Cool, thanks for your input.

    You've probably been a law student for longer than me, but I'm sure i once got told I shouldn't say 'The court would decide/The jury ...' instead I should make the judgement myself in regards to the actual scenario but obviously not write 'I/me' etc. either. Or do you think its irrelevent?
    No, you're half-right (although I should've been clearer! ).

    You shouldn't say "the jury would decide" since you can never be certain with a bunch of unpredictable, untrained laypeople, although there's no harm in saying that if they felt that the force used was reasonable, they could accept that the defendant was acting in self-defence and acquit him. There's no problem in explaining how a range of factors might affect the decision, particularly if you think there's something crucial to the outcome which isn't given in the sketchy outline of the problem.

    Don't use "I/me", although it's acceptable to say that "however, considering that the defendant had been arguing with the victim earlier in the day, it seems unlikely that he could rely on the defence of provocation when the death occurred in the evening, since the time in between would probably constitute a "cooling off" period". From that, it's implicit that that's what you think ("it seems" ) and the "unlikely" and "probably" show that you know there's no certainty when you're relying on a jury.

    Hope this makes things clearer.
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    (Original post by anonymouz)
    A and B have a fall out. A decides its clever to commit some criminal damage (hoping to injure B), as a result C who is B's daughter is hurt seriously. C is taken to hospital where where she is recieves incorrectly administered medicine from which she eventually dies.
    Transferred malice is certainly relevant here, since it's no defence to say "but I only meant to hurt B" - discuss it as part of the mens rea. Discussion of the "negligent" (?) medical treatment is advisable in terms of the causation, although as you say, it's unlikely to break the chain unless it's deemed to be "palpably wrong" (Jordan).

    I'd say you've got unlawful act manslaughter since A had the mens rea for the criminal damage (intention + the transferred malice mapping it onto C). As for murder, there's a greater requirement in that A must've foreseen death or serious injury as a virtual certainty in committing the damage. Since A hoped to injure B, they foresaw injury, but did they foresee it as "serious", and as a "virtual certainty"? I think you'd be pushing it to argue murder here.
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    (Original post by Muppety_Kid)
    No, you're half-right (although I should've been clearer! ).

    You shouldn't say "the jury would decide" since you can never be certain with a bunch of unpredictable, untrained laypeople, although there's no harm in saying that if they felt that the force used was reasonable, they could accept that the defendant was acting in self-defence and acquit him. There's no problem in explaining how a range of factors might affect the decision, particularly if you think there's something crucial to the outcome which isn't given in the sketchy outline of the problem.

    Don't use "I/me", although it's acceptable to say that "however, considering that the defendant had been arguing with the victim earlier in the day, it seems unlikely that he could rely on the defence of provocation when the death occurred in the evening, since the time in between would probably constitute a "cooling off" period". From that, it's implicit that that's what you think ("it seems" ) and the "unlikely" and "probably" show that you know there's no certainty when you're relying on a jury.

    Hope this makes things clearer.
    It does, thanks.
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    (Original post by Muppety_Kid)
    Transferred malice is certainly relevant here, since it's no defence to say "but I only meant to hurt B" - discuss it as part of the mens rea. Discussion of the "negligent" (?) medical treatment is advisable in terms of the causation, although as you say, it's unlikely to break the chain unless it's deemed to be "palpably wrong" (Jordan).

    I'd say you've got unlawful act manslaughter since A had the mens rea for the criminal damage (intention + the transferred malice mapping it onto C). As for murder, there's a greater requirement in that A must've foreseen death or serious injury as a virtual certainty in committing the damage. Since A hoped to injure B, they foresaw injury, but did they foresee it as "serious", and as a "virtual certainty"? I think you'd be pushing it to argue murder here.
    Thanks for that input, very valuable.
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    (Original post by xyllix)
    Are you doing the criminal law exam on the 28th?
    I know you are, because so am I! :p: OP, if you are doing this exam, please let us know so that we can all start revising...
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    (Original post by xyllix)
    Are you doing the criminal law exam on the 28th?
    ..
    (Original post by sweetgyal24)
    ...
    Sorry, i'm not. What made you think I was?
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    If you're doing AQA, I think for murder/voluntary manslaughter you only need to discuss provocation and diminished responsibility.

    There may be a question on involuntary manslaughter which could include constrtuctive / gross negligence and a defence.

    Or it might be a 25 marker including one of the two involuntary manslaughters, a non fatal and a defence. Alternatively it may just ask about non-fatals and not even ask about involuntary manslaughter, if that makes sense?

    The defences are conset, automatism, insanity, intoxication and self defence. But as far as we've been taught we don't use them on a murder/voluntary manslaughter scenario. :dontknow:
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    (Original post by mel0n)
    If you're doing AQA, I think for murder/voluntary manslaughter you only need to discuss provocation and diminished responsibility.

    There may be a question on involuntary manslaughter which could include constrtuctive / gross negligence and a defence.

    Or it might be a 25 marker including one of the two involuntary manslaughters, a non fatal and a defence. Alternatively it may just ask about non-fatals and not even ask about involuntary manslaughter, if that makes sense?

    The defences are conset, automatism, insanity, intoxication and self defence. But as far as we've been taught we don't use them on a murder/voluntary manslaughter scenario. :dontknow:
    That was a fairly comprehensive list!

    You're right about the defences - in homicide, you'd generally only discuss the special/partials, i.e. DR, provocation (and probably not suicide pact since you won't have been taught it and it'd be a pretty boring exam if you needed it! :p:).

    However, there is one exception to this. If I punch someone (once) and cause them to fall over, cracking their skull and dying from the injury, you've got a potential manslaughter there based on the battery. For the purposes of this, ignore murder (you'll see where I'm going in a minute), and a tip is to use the lowest non-fatal for the unlawful act since there's no point complicating stuff with a discussion of the harm required for GBH! :yep:

    In my example, though, if it were relevant, it'd be advisable to talk about the defences (most probably self-defence), since if one applies, the act is no longer unlawful, so there's no unlawful act manslaughter. See where I'm coming from?

    I don't think this has been used very often, but it's one to look out for. Also, remember that in some cases, both parties could claim self-defence. I remember one AQA paper with Isa and Gill (the girl who made the "this is you dead" drawings) where they had a massive fight on the lawn. Both of them could technically claim self-defence against the other! I think that was about 2007, so it's unlikely to come up, but it was fun trying to explain that in my mock! :woo:

    Anyway, hope some of this is useful.
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    (Original post by Muppety_Kid)
    That was a fairly comprehensive list!
    Ha, how so?

    You're right about the defences - in homicide, you'd generally only discuss the special/partials, i.e. DR, provocation (and probably not suicide pact since you won't have been taught it and it'd be a pretty boring exam if you needed it! :p:).
    The two partial defences, as far as we've been taught, are only for murder, and would reduce the conviction to commuted manslaughter, amirite?

    However, there is one exception to this. If I punch someone (once) and cause them to fall over, cracking their skull and dying from the injury, you've got a potential manslaughter there based on the battery. For the purposes of this, ignore murder (you'll see where I'm going in a minute), and a tip is to use the lowest non-fatal for the unlawful act since there's no point complicating stuff with a discussion of the harm required for GBH! :yep:
    As for the unlawful act manslaughter, thanks! We were told to either use an assault or batter as either one of them would have pretty much had to have occured. My old teacher (he left a week ago for an operation) said something about arson and kidnapping or something being a possibility, but even then he said you'd either be applying force arguably or causing the victim to apprehend immediate unlawful violence.

    In my example, though, if it were relevant, it'd be advisable to talk about the defences (most probably self-defence), since if one applies, the act is no longer unlawful, so there's no unlawful act manslaughter. See where I'm coming from?
    We've been told that a general defence will more than likely come up with involuntary manslaughter. However, if there isn't one I won't spend too much time finding one with small possibility because we have about.. 25 minutes to write about 4-6 sides, or something. And yeah, you can apply defences other than self-defence for unlawful act manslaughter, right?


    I don't think this has been used very often, but it's one to look out for. Also, remember that in some cases, both parties could claim self-defence. I remember one AQA paper with Isa and Gill (the girl who made the "this is you dead" drawings) where they had a massive fight on the lawn. Both of them could technically claim self-defence against the other! I think that was about 2007, so it's unlikely to come up, but it was fun trying to explain that in my mock! :woo:
    I did that in class for a practice I think one of them could argue self-defence but the other was.. less likely to have succeeded even though it could be discussed.

    Thankss!
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    (Original post by mel0n)
    Ha, how so?
    :dontknow:

    :p:

    The two partial defences, as far as we've been taught, are only for murder, and would reduce the conviction to commuted manslaughter, amirite?
    *Pulls a ":/" face*

    Yeah, you're right, but not with the terminology. They're "special" because they only relate to murder, and "partial" because you're convicted of manslaughter. I've never heard of the term "commuted", although I imagine that relates to the fact that you're not charged with manslaughter.

    As for the unlawful act manslaughter, thanks! We were told to either use an assault or batter as either one of them would have pretty much had to have occurred. My old teacher (he left a week ago for an operation) said something about arson and kidnapping or something being a possibility, but even then he said you'd either be applying force arguably or causing the victim to apprehend immediate unlawful violence.
    Yeah, you could have something like criminal damage (do you guys have to do blackmail now? I've done the A2 on the old specification and I didn't, but I imagine that if D blackmails V who commits suicide, you could have blackmail as the unlawful act - of course, that depends on causation), but as you say, I don't think it's very likely.

    The most annoying thing the examiner puts on is the thing in provocation about self-induced characteristics. Tandy, and stuff like that. It was always a ***** to get my head around, so when it came up in my exam (June 2009), I decided to do the first question on non-fatals and manslaughter instead. So yeah, revise that, if nothing else! :p:

    We've been told that a general defence will more than likely come up with involuntary manslaughter. However, if there isn't one I won't spend too much time finding one with small possibility because we have about.. 25 minutes to write about 4-6 sides, or something. And yeah, you can apply defences other than self-defence for unlawful act manslaughter, right?
    Yeah, you should be aiming to write about three issues. Normally, that'd be two non-fatals and a defence, e.g. battery, ABH (maybe even "ABH bordering on GBH" or "GBH bordering on s.18") and a defence of intoxication. Obviously discuss intoxication briefly even if it's (probably) going to fail, since you've still identified a third issue.

    I don't think you have to write 4-6 sides - I got really into the paper and (getting full marks) only ever wrote about 3-4 sides per question! I'd spend 5 minutes planning all of the questions together by annotating the relevant parts of the scenario with the issues (to check you've got enough), then write like hell. It's worth spending the time beforehand so you know where your answer's going.

    You can apply other defences - I only mentioned SD since it's the most common. Anything that makes the "unlawful" act potentially lawful is worth mentioning.

    I did that in class for a practice I think one of them could argue self-defence but the other was.. less likely to have succeeded even though it could be discussed.

    Thankss!
    Sounds like you know your stuff then!

    Oh - and no problem. :hat2:
 
 
 
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