Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

UK Murder Law Changes Monday watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2010/s...der-law-reform

    The special and partial defence to murder of provocation, from s1 of the Homicide Act 1957, no longer exists- it has been replaced by 'loss of control', which does not require the loss of control to be sudden and temporary.

    Any thoughts?
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Glad I have already done criminal law, otherwise that would be a whole couple of weeks wasted!
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    It's a good improvement - it makes it less biased towards men as it now covers battered wife syndrome.

    We've been doing voluntary manslaughter in law over the last few weeks, so our teacher covered it today - I only need to know the old law for the exam though.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Seems like a reasonable change to the law as far as I can tell. I'm not that well informed though when it comes to criminal law. The last point he makes, when he says that a life sentence shouldn't be mandatory, but instead the maximum charge, seems like it could be a good idea actually. Although, if that was the law, I could see many cases arising in which murderers get stupidly short sentences.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    makes sense, though really if after years of suffering abuse from domestic violence is attacking your partner in self defence really losing self-control?

    If a man beats his wife regularly and has broken her down mentally so she believes it is her fault and doesn't go for help as often occurs). But after years of it and one particularly bad beating something suddenly clicks in the women's brain and she realises what he is doing, grabs something and basically beats the crap out of him, say smacking him repeatedly with a pan. She might not mean to kill, but she does. Now the thing is she might not have lost self-control if the definition is quite strict, she knows what she's doing, she's letting out years of built up pain onto her abuser, but she's not crazed in that outburst..

    In fact what if it is pre-mediated in the short term? Lets say the partner beats them badly one day then storms out of the house but it is known by the victim they will return very soon and COULD do worse. The victim grabs a knife and hides, the partner returns, still seems angry, maybe they're swearing or shouting, the victim then attacks them first in this instance, it results in the partners death..

    if years of abuse could be provided beyond a doubt then...even if the above occurrence. I would assume a man slaughter and not murder charge might occur, hell I wouldn't even call it regular man slaughter I'd have a lower offence.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Ahhh this is good, I suppose.. It will reduce the criticisms that provocation recieves for discriminating against women. Although BWS is acknowledged and used as a defence, it's obviously not part of provocation and therefore it'll stop women having to plead diminished responsibility.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by joey11223)
    makes sense, though really if after years of suffering abuse from domestic violence is attacking your partner in self defence really losing self-control?

    If a man beats his wife regularly and has broken her down mentally so she believes it is her fault and doesn't go for help as often occurs). But after years of it and one particularly bad beating something suddenly clicks in the women's brain and she realises what he is doing, grabs something and basically beats the crap out of him, say smacking him repeatedly with a pan. She might not mean to kill, but she does. Now the thing is she might not have lost self-control if the definition is quite strict, she knows what she's doing, she's letting out years of built up pain onto her abuser, but she's not crazed in that outburst..

    In fact what if it is pre-mediated in the short term? Lets say the partner beats them badly one day then storms out of the house but it is known by the victim they will return very soon and COULD do worse. The victim grabs a knife and hides, the partner returns, still seems angry, maybe they're swearing or shouting, the victim then attacks them first in this instance, it results in the partners death..

    if years of abuse could be provided beyond a doubt then...even if the above occurrence. I would assume a man slaughter and not murder charge might occur, hell I wouldn't even call it regular man slaughter I'd have a lower offence.
    It acknowledges that woman react to events in a different way to men. Men will lose control in a sudden and temporary manner whereas a woman's loss has been described as 'the slow stretching of an elastic band', therefore I suppose that stretching could reach its peak even after a number of years.

    Losing self control doesn't have to be immediate (which your second paragraph seems to imply would be the case), because the new (proposed?) law has taken away the immediacy element, therefore yeah, I guess something could just 'click' one day and the woman could end up killing her husband or whatever.

    And I'm not sure what you mean by pre-meditated in the short term :p:
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mel0n)
    And I'm not sure what you mean by pre-meditated in the short term :p:
    yeah I phrased it badly. What I mean is say I'm the one in an abusive relationship, been like it for years. Any minute now my partner comes into the room and starts yelling for some small thing I've done wrong then starts punching me and slamming me into things etc, they end up beating me badly and leaving me on the floor semi-conscious, they storm out of the house. I know they're going to come back and basically I think there and then "I've got to fight back". So I manage to get up and find a knife, or a pan or something. They come back after 15 mins, they come into the house shouting or something, I'm hiding behind a door, they come in and I stab them, smack them over the head etc. They end up dying from my blow. So I did plan the act ahead of them returning, but it was done because of years of abuse, would this law change effect anything like that? Is that murder, or manslaughter..
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by joey11223)
    yeah I phrased it badly. What I mean is say I'm the one in an abusive relationship, been like it for years. Any minute now my partner comes into the room and starts yelling for some small thing I've done wrong then starts punching me and slamming me into things etc, they end up beating me badly and leaving me on the floor semi-conscious, they storm out of the house. I know they're going to come back and basically I think there and then "I've got to fight back". So I manage to get up and find a knife, or a pan or something. They come back after 15 mins, they come into the house shouting or something, I'm hiding behind a door, they come in and I stab them, smack them over the head etc. They end up dying from my blow. So I did plan the act ahead of them returning, but it was done because of years of abuse, would this law change effect anything like that? Is that murder, or manslaughter..
    That's murder, but you could now use this 'loss of control' defence to get the charge down to manslaughter, where the sentence is discretionary and you could get very, very little in the way of punishment.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by micky022)
    That's murder, but you could now use this 'loss of control' defence to get the charge down to manslaughter, where the sentence is discretionary and you could get very, very little in the way of punishment.
    ah right thanks for clearing it up, well I think that is fair as long as the abuse can be proved in some way. Those who abuse their partners are scum and should be treated as such...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by joey11223)
    ah right thanks for clearing it up, well I think that is fair as long as the abuse can be proved in some way. Those who abuse their partners are scum and should be treated as such...
    Very true. I'm all for the new law, it'll make me look damn sharp in my A2 exam
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Ape Gone Insane)
    This doesn't apply to Scotland, does it? Apparently s1 of the Act does not extend to Scotland.
    I assume it doesn't- since Scotland has its own legal system it's only England and Wales that have changed.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by joey11223)
    yeah I phrased it badly. What I mean is say I'm the one in an abusive relationship, been like it for years. Any minute now my partner comes into the room and starts yelling for some small thing I've done wrong then starts punching me and slamming me into things etc, they end up beating me badly and leaving me on the floor semi-conscious, they storm out of the house. I know they're going to come back and basically I think there and then "I've got to fight back". So I manage to get up and find a knife, or a pan or something. They come back after 15 mins, they come into the house shouting or something, I'm hiding behind a door, they come in and I stab them, smack them over the head etc. They end up dying from my blow. So I did plan the act ahead of them returning, but it was done because of years of abuse, would this law change effect anything like that? Is that murder, or manslaughter..
    Ahhhh I see.. well afaicr, pre-meditation negates the partial defence of provocation, due to the sudden and temporaryness of the requirements. However, seeing as it's not required to be a sudden and temporary loss anymore, I'm not sure if this is, any longer, the case. If the defence actually succeeded then it would reduce the crime from murder to (voluntary?) manslaughter, though.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.