Administrative Law

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By Jacqueline Martin; Chris Turner; Denis Lanser

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Roberts (1971) A girl jumped from a car in order to escape from sexual advances. The car was travelling at between 20–40 mph, and the girl was injured through jumping from the car. The defendant was held to be liable for her injuries. Murder However, if the victim’s reaction is unreasonable, then this may break the chain of causation as in Williams (1992). Williams (1992) A hitch-hiker jumped from Williams’ car and died from head injuries caused by his head hitting the road. The car was travelling at about 30 mph.

Has the defendant committed the actus reus of murder if: (a) he kills a foetus in the womb so that the child is born dead (b) he injures a foetus in the womb and the child is born alive but dies of its injuries? 5. The definition of murder includes the phrase ‘under the Queen’s Peace’. What is the effect of this phrase? Brain dead It is probable that a person who is ‘brain dead’ would not be considered as a ‘reasonable creature in being’. Doctors are allowed to switch off lifesupport machines without being liable for homicide.

They are also only partial defences: this means that the defendant is not completely acquitted. Instead, when one of these defences is successful, the offence of murder is reduced to manslaughter. This is important because it means that the judge has discretion in the sentence which he imposes. When a person is found guilty of murder the judge has to pass a sentence of life imprisonment. However, for manslaughter the judge can choose any sentence which is suitable. 2). However, if the defendant is not dangerous then he or she may be given a short term of imprisonment or even a community sentence.

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