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    hi i need help with the question below. can some one please advise.

    Discuss critically the requisite elements of the offence of gross negligence manslaughter and assess whether the defendants in R v. Stone and Dobinson [1977] QB 354 and R v. Evans (Gemma) [2009] EWCA Crim 650 were appropriately convicted of this offence.

    thank you in advance
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    How about you post a vague idea of what you think the answer is before the internet completes it for you?
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    im confused on where to start with it thats why i am asking for help on where to begin.
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    (Original post by crazygirl4u)
    im confused on where to start with it thats why i am asking for help on where to begin.
    Well, since it tells you to discuss the requisite elements of gross negligence, i'd start by discussing how to commit gross negligence manslaughter. As a rule of thumb, start from the beginning of a question...
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    This may help you as a general structure on gross negligence manslaughter questions, you can edit it to answer the question you have but this should include the main elements:

    Introduction

    Definition: Gross negligence manslaughter is where death occurs due to the defendant’s negligence which is so severe it is criminal.

    The common elements of homicide apply here, and this is where the defendant must cause the death (death is when the brain dies as in R v Malcherek, Steel) of a human being (defined as an individual who is able to sustain existence separate from their mother, as in AG Ref. (no.3 of 1994) and death must usually occur within three years of the defendant’s last voluntary act (since the Law Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act 1996).

    Actus Reus

    This is where the defendant commits an act or omission which does not have to be unlawful, and was stated in Adomako that in addition to the common elements of homicide, a duty of care and a breach of duty causing the victim’s death must be proven.

    The cases Caparo v Dickman and R v Singh support this. There are several situations where a duty of care will exist, for example a duty assumed for another as in R v Wacker.

    To establish a duty of care, the test includes three elements:

    • is it reasonably foreseeable that the defendant’s acts or omissions are likely to injure the victim?
    • is there proximity between the defendant and the victim?
    • is it fair, just and reasonable to impose a duty on the defendant?


    For a breach of duty to occur, the defendant’s conduct must fall below that expected of the reasonable person. The defendant is judged against the reasonable person with similar skills or knowledge, e.g. the reasonable electrician in Holloway.

    Causation

    The causation of gross negligence manslaughter is factual and legal, and the prosecution must establish the rules of causation to prove the defendant’s voluntary act or omission caused the death suffered by the victim.

    The factual causation is the ‘but for’ test – but for the conduct of the defendant the victim would not have suffered the death or injury as and when they did, and R v White demonstrates this.

    The legal causation is where the defendant’s act or omission was the substantive and operative cause of death, but need not be the main or only cause, and R v Cheshire and R v Smith show that even with negligent medical treatment, the defendants were still liable for the victim’s deaths, however in R v Jordan the incorrect administration of a drug was a new and intervening act, and all intervening acts must be reasonably foreseeable as in R v Pagett and R v Roberts.

    The ‘thin skull’ rule also applies, and this is where you must take your victims as you find them as in R v Blaue.


    Mens Rea

    The mens rea of gross negligence manslaughter is ‘gross negligence’, and in R v Bateman this is where the defendant has a disregard for the life or safety of others amounting to a crime against the state deserving punishment.

    The test is for the jury to decide ‘whether having regard to the risk of death involved, the conduct was so bad in all circumstances that it could amount to a criminal act’. In R v Singh, if the ‘reasonably prudent person’ could foresee the risk of death and failed to act so badly it was criminal, the jury should convict. The term ‘reasonably prudent person’ suggests it is an objective test, but as in R v Lidar it can be either objective (would the reasonable person foresee the risk of death?) or subjective (did the defendant foresee the risk of death?).

    In AG Ref. (No.2 of 1999) the mens rea can be established without looking at the defendant’s state of mind.
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    thank you very much for your help. very much appreciated.
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    I was about to critise you for using the word manslaughter. Then I realised it was english law. I should be shot lol.
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    Why the neg...
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    (Original post by crazygirl4u)
    hi i need help with the question below. can some one please advise.

    Discuss critically the requisite elements of the offence of gross negligence manslaughter and assess whether the defendants in R v. Stone and Dobinson [1977] QB 354 and R v. Evans (Gemma) [2009] EWCA Crim 650 were appropriately convicted of this offence.

    thank you in advance
    Do you have access to Westlaw?

    I read a really good article about gross neg. and drug supplying on Westlaw. Seriously, articles are your friend!
 
 
 
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