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    I really need help as we have been given no help at my uni.

    Basically John meets Kim at a party and asks her if she would like some heroin,
    Kim agrees and they go back to her flat.Because Kim, Benedict is new to taking drugs ,John has to show her what to do.

    The question is if kim were to die in the process,advise John on his liability .
    Limit your analysis of the law to acts, omissions and causation.
    Use I.L.A.C to structure your answer (Issue,Law,Application and Conclusion).
    This sounds simple enough but we were not told how to go about it and I am only a first year student who has never studied law before so this is rather difficult.

    I honestly do not know what to do.
    There are so statues(I have researched other problem questions and they have included statues). The only thing I have found is john would escape liability for manslaughter because it was a voluntary act which therefore breaks the chain of causation.
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    Liability is a strange word to use in this context. One would not normally say that X is liable for manslaughter, rather that X is guilty of manslaughter.

    I'm not sure what statute you think this involves - I don't see any. It seems that you have already identified the issue, which is that Kim's voluntary actions may break the chain of causation - whether or not they do depends on precisely what John did, and what Kim did.
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    Isn't this just 'R v. Kennedy' and the other drug supply cases (Roberts, Latif, Dias, Evans etc.)?

    'What matters...is whether the injection itself was the result of a voluntary and informed dicsion by the person injecting himself. In...the present case it was'. Lord Bingham in Kennedy overruling Rogers.

    You then use 'R v. Burgess; Byram' as an example of an exceptional case where they are still liable and there is no free, deliberate and informed act but instead a joint one. Without the full facts it's hard to say, but it is likely from the rule in Kennedy he is not liable.

    All this of course assumes no pre-existing relationship, in which case you have to go into Evans and Sinclair, ​plus some other cases such as Stone and Dobinson.
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    Liability is the correct term to use Forum User.

    It's been a long time since I've done criminal law but I can give an outline on how to answer a question on homicide

    The issue that would be raised is Murder. Murder is a common law offence, not on staute. I believe it is the unlawful killing of another human being under the Queen's peace. This is the law.

    The majority of your marks will be picked up on application and conclusion.

    Discuss at length causation, factual and legal, and the court-recognized duties to act, and whether they are applicable. Because John is showing her what to do, has he voluntarily assumed liability?

    Both issues are discussed at length in Smith and Hogan, and you should find sufficient material to write about.

    I would advise, not discussing Manslaughter, as your question says limit discussion to Acts, omissions, and causation, and manslaughter becomes relevant when discussing mens rea, or lack thereof.

    Don't worry about lack of statutes- murder is a common law offence, and your answer will be heavy in case law
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    (Original post by bigwhalegambler)
    The issue that would be raised is Murder. Murder is a common law offence, not on staute. I believe it is the unlawful killing of another human being under the Queen's peace. This is the law.

    I would advise, not discussing Manslaughter, as your question says limit discussion to Acts, omissions, and causation, and manslaughter becomes relevant when discussing mens rea, or lack thereof.
    Without wishing to seem unkind, I would strongly suggest that you do not advise people on criminal law. The limited facts make it incredibly unlikely that murder is relevant at all. Unlawful Act Manslaughter, on the other hand, is clearly directly in point.

    I still disagree that 'liability' is correctly used in this context. For example, where El Nombre wrote: "it is likely from the rule in Kennedy he is not liable", I would have said "it is likely from the rule in Kennedy he is not guilty". But that is a minor quibble at best.
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    No it isn't. You are not liable for a crime, you are guilty of a crime. You are liable for (inter alia) a breach of contract, tort, etc.



    Without wishing to seem unkind, I would strongly suggest that you do not advise people on criminal law. The limited facts make it incredibly unlikely that Murder is relevant at all, and the relevant offence is unlawful act manslaughter.
    Liability is the correct word. To discuss liability is to discuss whether the accused is responsible. To discuss guilt is a question for a jury. A law student shouldn't be discussing guilt in a question, they are to raise the relevant the issue and discuss liability for them.

    Yes, murder is unlikely, but what the question seems to want, and is restricted to is a lengthy discussion discussion of causation and court-recognised duties to act.

    Without mentioning mens rea, I don't see how you could work Manslaughter into your answer.

    Nonetheless, there doesn't seem to be an actus reus, and this is the conclusion that seems the question-maker wants to be drawn. You would raise the actus reus of murder, and conclude that due to causation and the law on omissions, there is no actus reus, and no liability for any Homicide offence at all
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    (Original post by bigwhalegambler)
    Yes, murder is unlikely, but what the question seems to want, and is restricted to is a lengthy discussion discussion of causation and court-recognised duties to act.

    Without mentioning mens rea, I don't see how you could work Manslaughter into your answer.
    And how can you work murder into your answer without discussing mens rea, since the definition of murder requires that the accused 'intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm'? The best one can do without mentioning mens rea seems to me to be to treat the problem as one about some generic, undefined 'homicide' which requires actus reus only and has no mental element. But that is certainly not 'murder'.

    At my university we were told never to use the word 'liable' in connection with a crime. But it seems to be mere semantics and not worth pursuing.
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    And how can you work murder into your answer without discussing mens rea, since the definition of murder requires that the accused 'intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm'?
    That is the mens rea.


    The actus reus is simply the unlawful killing of another human being under the Queen's peace.


    To answer any question you split the actus reus and mens rea apart, and discuss the actus reus first.
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    And how can you work murder into your answer without discussing mens rea, since the definition of murder requires that the accused 'intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm'? The best one can do without mentioning mens rea seems to me to be to treat the problem as one about some generic, undefined 'homicide' which requires actus reus only and has no mental element. But that is certainly not 'murder'.

    At my university we were told never to use the word 'liable' in connection with a crime. But it seems to be mere semantics and not worth pursuing.
    I was taught the opposite, and not to discuss guilt. :rolleyes:

    Seems more logical to me? A solicitor advising his client, will advise him on the offences he is liable for, not the offences he is guilty of, no?
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    (Original post by bigwhalegambler)
    The actus reus is simply the unlawful killing of another human being under the Queen's peace.
    And what is the actus reus of manslaughter?
    And so why do you think that manslaughter is not relevant and that murder is?

    Hence my point that it might be better to just discuss 'homicide' in the abstract without speculating about what offence might be committed. Murder and UAM can only be separated based on whether the accused intended to kill or cause GBH; or whether he intended merely to commit some lesser offence. If the OP is not to discuss MR at all it is meaningless to say that murder is relevant but manslaughter is not, imo.

    Yes, I'm a law student.
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    (Original post by bigwhalegambler)
    I was taught the opposite, and not to discuss guilt. :rolleyes:

    Seems more logical to me? A solicitor advising his client, will advise him on the offences he is liable for, not the offences he is guilty of, no?
    If I was the client, I would want to know which offences I was likely to be found guilty of. That would give me the information needed to decide how to plead, for example.

    In any case this is an uninteresting semantics point.
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    And what is the actus reus of manslaughter?

    And so why do you think that manslaughter is not relevant and that murder is?

    Yes, I'm a law student.
    Yeah, I haven't done criminal law in a long time.

    I'm mistaken.

    The AR is for any homicide offence, not specifically murder.

    Realising this point, I realise it doesn't make a difference, because there is no AR.

    Manslaughter didn't become relevant to me until discussing mens rea, so that is why I initially dismissed it, because the question doesn't want the answer on mens rea.
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    (Original post by Forum User)
    If I was the client, I would want to know which offences I was likely to be found guilty of. That would give me the information needed to decide how to plead, for example.

    In any case this is an uninteresting semantics point.
    But by very definition, these are the offences you are liable for, not the the offences you are guilty of.
 
 
 
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