The Student Room Group

Help! I'm struggling :( (moot presentation)

Hi, I'm having severe trouble with this moot oral presentation, I am the junior counsel for the appellant and I don't even know where to begin. If anyone has any advice or cases i could reference it would so unbelievably appreciated, Thanks!

Assessed Oral Question:

R v Jones: Ted Jones had several convictions for robbery and was well known to the local police. One evening he got into a fight with Dan Smith over a matter of sharing out the proceeds from a recent robbery of a jewellery store they had taken part in. During the fight, Jones pulled out a knife and stabbed Smith in the chest and then fled. There was evidence that the wound was not life threatening. Not wanting to get involved with the police, Smith managed to struggle back to the home that he shared with his sister Mary, but adamantly refused her requests to call for an ambulance for fear that the knife wound would be reported to the police by medical personnel. After several hours, during which time Smith became weaker and finally unconscious, Mary called for an ambulance. Two hours later the ambulance arrived, and the paramedics performed some basic triage on Smith, although unfortunately the ambulance was lacking in some emergency medical supplies that had failed to restock after the ambulance’s last call out. Smith was taken to hospital in the ambulance, during which time his condition continued to deteriorate. On arrival at the hospital, he was given extensive tests and placed in an intensive care unit. Two days later he fell into a coma and was put on life support. Three days later, after further tests, doctors declared Smith ‘brain dead’ and removed life support. Some hours later ‘conventional death’ occurred. At trial, Jones admitted stabbing Smith but pleaded not guilty to murder on the basis that he was not responsible for Smith’s death. He was convicted.

Jones appeals on the following grounds:
- The cause of Smith’s death was not the stab wound, which was not life threatening.
- The immediate cause of Smith’s death was the removal of Smith from life support, consequent to Smith being subjected to inadequate emergency medical treatment.
- Both negligent medical treatment and removal from life support were intervening acts between the injury and Smith’s ‘conventional’ death. Smith voluntarily chose to bring about his death when he refused to seek medical treatment. This voluntary act breaks the chain of causation between the injury inflicted by Jones, and Smith’s death.

The appeal is opposed on the following grounds:
- The injury inflicted by Jones on Smith was a substantial and operative cause of death.
- It did not need to be the sole cause.
- Negligent medical treatment, even as a contributory factor, does not relieve the defendant of liability.

As such, Jones is not relieved of criminal liability for Smith’s death. The law is concerned with the consequences of the defendant’s wrongdoing and not with the victim’s response to the injury. As such, Jones is not relieved of criminal liability for Smith’s death.

Quick Reply