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LAW 1110

Criminal Law
Defences
Defences

Self Intoxicati
Insanity
Defence on

Duress 1 Duress 2
Self Defence

Self defence is, in law, is a justificatory defence,


namely the law finds justification in the actions
which, in other circumstances, would amount to a
crime.

Force causing personal injury, damage to property,


or even death may be justified or excused because
the force was reasonable used in the defence of
certain public or private interests. Public and
private defence is there a general defence to any
crime of which the use of force is an element or
which is alleged to have been committed by the use
of force.
Self Defence
Trigger The belief that the circumstances are such
that use of force is justified
Response The amount of force used

These are essential elements which require further


analysis. Primarily, what conditions allow for a use of
force by the defendant:

(a) To defend themselves from an attack.

(b) Prevent an attack on another person,

(c) Defend property.


Self Defence

Reasonable Use of
Force
vs
Use of Reasonable
Force
Reasonable Use of
Force
The accused must not have deliberately
provoked or created the situation for
which he intends to rely on the defence.

"The need to act must not have been


created by conduct of the accused in
the immediate context of the incident
which was likely or intended to give rise
to that need
Reasonable Use of
Force
R v Williams (Gladstone) [1987] 3 All ER 411
Use of force must be necessary

R v Beckford [1988] AC 130


Use is entirely subjective, despite a mistake
"Whether the plea is self-defence or defence of
another, if the defendant may have been
labouring under a mistake as to facts, he must
be judged according to his mistaken belief of the
facts: that is so whether the mistake was, on an
objective view, a reasonable mistake or not."
Reasonable Use of
Force
Therefore the belief that force is
needed is

SUBJECTIVE
The Defendant can be labouring under
a mistake, but is to be judges by his
mistaken view of the facts.
Use of reasonable
force

An objective test
Palmer v R 1971 AC 814
Only common sense is needed for its
understanding. It is both good law and
good sense that a man who is attacked
may defend himself. It is both good law
and good sense that he may do, but may
only do, what is reasonably necessary.
Use of reasonable
force
R v Lindsay (2005) AER (D) 349,
Must not go too far

R v Rose (1884) 15 Cox 540


Physical size makes a difference

Martin v R [2001] EWCA Crim 2245


Although not a personality disorder

R v Owino [1995] Crim LR 743


A jury to decide reasonableness
Threat

Threat must be imminent

Beckford v R [1988] AC 130:


"A man about to be attacked does not have to
wait for his assailant to strike the first blow or
fire the first shot; circumstances may justify a
pre-emptive strike."

Attorney-Generals Reference (No 2 of 1983)


[1984] 2 WLR 465
R v Bird (1985) 1 WLR 816
Criticism

Therefore, the test is both subjective


and objective.

All or nothing?
Intoxication
The general rule of criminal law is such that the
effect of intoxication, from whatsoever source, acts
as a no defence. In fact, paying reference to it as a
defence at all is legally suspect. Being sufficiently
intoxicated that you dont know what youre doing, is
in theory, being sufficiently intoxicated you cannot
form any mena rea. A mens rea is of course essential
for most crimes.

However the law doesnt allow a defendant to get off


that easily, the general principle being that it was
sufficiently foolish to consume the intoxicant that
criminal responsibility must remain.
Intoxication

Intoxicant
R v Lipman [1970] 1 QB 152
..no reason to distinguish between
drugs and drunkeness

R v Hardie [1985] 1 WLR 64


Defendant must have knowledge of the
potential effect prescription drugs vs
dangerous drugs
Intoxication

Voluntary
Blakely and Sutton v DPP [1991] Crim LR 763
No need for collaboration

R v Allen [1988] Crim LR 698.


Specific knowledge not needed

R v Kingston [1994] 3 All ER 353


Are we responsible for action procured by
fraud
Intoxication

The type of crime


Whilst trying to avoid the potential for intoxication
being a defence, the courts have been willing to
offer some use of the state in which a defendant
is in when mitigating their responsibility.

However, this has been defined using a distinction


between offences of basic and specific intent.
Our difficulty is such that we dont know exactly
what offences are specific and basic. Two rules
appear to occur, the first from Majewski:
Intoxication

DPP v Majewski [1976] UKHL 2

IF THE MR OF AN OFFENCE IS
INTENTION, SPECIFIC INTENT CRIME

IF THE MR OF AN OFFENCE IS
INTENTION OR RECKLESSNESS, THEN
A BASIC INTENT CRIME
Intoxication

DPP v Majewski [1976] UKHL 2


If within an offence the mens rea goes
beyond the actus reus then it is
specific, if not so, basic.
Intoxication

R v Heard [2007] 3 WLR 475

"no universally logical test for


distinguishing between crimes in which
voluntary intoxication can be advanced
as a defence and those in which it
cannot; there is a large element of
policy; categorisation is achieved on an
offence by offence basis."
Intoxication

Dutch courage
A-G for N. Ireland v Gallagher [1963] AC 349.
"If a man, whilst sane and sober, forms an
intention to kill and makes preparation for it,
knowing it is a wrong thing to do, and then
gets himself drunk so as to give himself
Dutch courage to do the killing, and whilst
drunk carries out his intention, he cannot
rely on his self-induced drunkenness as a
defence to a charge of murder, not even as
reducing it to manslaughter.
Intoxication

Therefore:

1. Courts do not distinguish between


intoxicants
2. Must be reckless in intoxicating
yourself
3. Must be voluntary unless MR
precedes
4. Dutch courage does not apply