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BCL Law Notes Criminal Law: Offences and Defences Notes

Criminal Law Defences Automatism Notes

Updated Criminal Law Defences Automatism Notes

Criminal Law: Offences and Defences Notes

Criminal Law: Offences and Defences

Approximately 63 pages

These are notes on Criminal Offences in Irish Law such as Murder and Manslaughter, other Fatal Offences and Sexual Offences. In addition, There are notes on Criminal Defences in Irish Law such as: Automatism, Duress, Entrapment, Insanity and Diminished Responsibility, Intoxication, Lawful Use of Force (Self defence, opportunity to retreat, anticipation of attack, burden of proof, excessive use of force), Necessity and Duress and Provocation....

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Automatism. • • • Where due to an external blow, my mind disassociates with my body and I act without having control of my mind For a few seconds, there is a sort of reflex or automatic physical response Due to some external event, say under influence of drug or medicine - there is a loss of control Illness • • Not in control due to an ongoing medical condition Alcohol and drugs is completely different because it in voluntary - its your fault if you take a substance willingly ➢ For both, you'll have to get medical or expertise evidence, to show that due to the external blow you lost control of your body, Bratty NI 1963 Bratty strangled girlfriend with her stockings. When the police arrived and asked him why he did it, he said 'I don't know, I felt a whoosh and a terrible blackness came over me'. Convicted of murder, appealed and complained that the judge did not leave the defence of automatism to the jury as a live issue.There is no evidence at all to make automatism a live issue To say to felt something does not come close to raising the medical, factual defence of automatism Especially a mere whoosh and a blackness AUTOMATISM OR INSANITY? • • Important to raise right one They have different outcomes o • • Physical act disconnected to the mens rea or motivation for performing the conduct. o o • • • • Automatism is a full, common law defence. It actually goes to the actus reus - you're saying that you did an involuntary act Insanity is a special verdict, You will be committed to a hospital So you are detained on medical treatment, you do not walk free You remain detained until you are well. Could be forever Client may not want to raise it if they understand the implications

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