Someone recently bought our

students are currently browsing our notes.

X

Homicide Notes

Law Notes > Principles of Criminal Law Notes

This is an extract of our Homicide document, which we sell as part of our Principles of Criminal Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Griffith University students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Principles of Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Exam


The

Principles

of

Criminal

Law

Notes

Homicide Criminal Code 1899: s291

Killing a human being is unlawful It is unlawful to kill any person unless such killing is authorised or justified or excused by law.

s292

When a child becomes a human being A child becomes a person capable of being killed when it has completely proceeded in a living state from the body of its mother, whether it has breathed or not, and whether it has an independent circulation or not, and whether the navelstring is severed or not.

s293

Definition of killing Any person who causes the death of another, directly or indirectly, by any means whatever, is deemed to have killed that other person.

R v Castles

[1969] QWN 36

*

*

Common Law

One-punch death Would not have been in that situation but for the act of another

Criminal Code 1899: s294

Deaths by acts done at childbirth When a child dies in consequence of an act done or omitted to be done by any person before or during its birth, the person who did or omitted to do such act is deemed to have killed the child.

Criminal Code 1899: s295

Causing death by threats A person who, by threats or intimidation of any kind, or by deceit, causes another person to do an act or make an omission which results in the death of that other person, is deemed to have killed the other person. R v Royall

s296

Acceleration of death A person who does any act or makes any omission which hastens the death of another person who, when the act is done or the omission is made, is under some disorder or disease arising from another cause, is deemed to have killed that other person.

SEMESTER ONE | 5

Notes


The

Principles

of

Criminal

Law


R v Blaue [1975] 3 All ER 446

Common Law

Application of s297

* Victim was a stabbed Jehovahs Witness

* Refused a blood transfusion which could have saved their life

* Question: what caused the death o Answer was the stab wound therefore the blood transfusion did not break the chain of causation

o A person does not necessarily have to take steps to look after their own health

Criminal Code 1899: s297

When injury or death may have been prevented by proper precaution When a person causes a bodily injury to another from which death results, it is immaterial that the injury might have been avoided by proper precaution on the part of the person injured, or that the injured person's death from that injury might have been prevented by proper care or treatment.

R v Cook (1979) 2 A Crim R 151 at 154-155 Application of s298

Common Law

* Drugs given to prevent the clotting of blood to the patient, which lead to excessive bleeding and therefore their death

* Held before a person can be exculpated, 3 things must be found

* Surgical or medical treatment was the immediate cause of the death

* Treatment was reasonable and proper under the circumstances

* Applied in good faith

* For the accused to not be liable, the grievous bodily harm must not be the primary cause of death

Criminal Code 1899: s298

Injuries causing death in consequence of subsequent treatment When a person does grievous bodily harm to another, and such other person has recourse to surgical or medical treatment, and death results either from the injury or the treatment, the person is deemed to have killed that other person, although the immediate cause of death was the surgical or medical treatment, provided that the treatment was reasonably proper under the circumstances, and was applied in good faith.

Criminal Code 1899: s300

Unlawful homicide Any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of a crime, which is called murder or manslaughter, according to the circumstances of the case.

6|

Exam


The

Principles

of

Criminal

Law

Notes

Murder (s302) Criminal Code 1899: s302

Definition of Murder

1. Except as hereinafter set forth, a person who unlawfully kills another under any of the following circumstances, that is to say---
a) if the offender intends to cause the death of the person killed or that of some other person or if the offender intends to do to the person killed or to some other person some grievous bodily harm; b) if death is caused by means of an act done in the prosecution of an unlawful purpose, which act is of such a nature as to be likely to endanger human life; c) if the offender intends to do grievous bodily harm to some person for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a crime which is such that the offender may be arrested without warrant, or for the purpose of facilitating the flight of an offender who has committed or attempted to commit any such crime; d) if death is caused by administering any stupefying or overpowering thing for either of the purposes mentioned in paragraph (c); e) if death is caused by wilfully stopping the breath of any person for either of such purposes; is guilty of murder.

2. Under subsection 1(a) it is immaterial that the offender did not intend to hurt the particular person who is killed.

3. Under subsection 1(b) it is immaterial that the offender did not intend to hurt any person. (4) Under subsection 1(c) to (e) it is immaterial that the offender did not intend to cause death or did not know that death was likely to result.

Causation: Bench Book '... it is not essential that you find that his conduct was the sole cause. You are entitled to conclude that the death resulted from the accused's conduct if it contributed substantially or significantly to the death. Whether an act resulted in the death is a matter of causation. Causation is not a philosophical or scientific question. Whether such an act resulted in the death is determined by applying your common sense to the facts as you find them, keenly appreciating, however, that the purpose of your inquiry is to attribute legal responsibility in a criminal matter'

*

*

Shooting someone in the head a? direct cause Dropping paper a? blows into a car a?driver hits someone = test of causation o It is principally possible for two people to kill (practically unlikely) SEMESTER ONE | 7

Notes


The

Principles

of

Criminal

Law


March v Stramare (1990-1) 171 CLR 506

*

*

*

*

Common Law

At 1am, a driver parked his truck on a well-lit street at a market parallel to the kerb on the white center line - unloading fruit and vegetables with a forklift. Truck was obstructing traffic but there was enough space to move around. Also had parking and hazard lights A drive drove at 60km into the back of the truck, sustaining serious injuries o Found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.221%
Trial judge: driver was negligent but truck driver should have foreseen the possibility of a vehicle colliding with the truck in the position o Issue of causation

March v Stramare concluded that "the conception is not susceptible to reduction to a satisfactory standard", "acknowledge the 'but for' test" and its properties

*

Royall v R

*

*

*

*

*

Royall was a violent man and visited the unit of the victim, which was on he 6th floor of the building. Deceased fell from the bathroom window and died Accused argued that he was concerned about her as she had a shower and walked into the room to see her climbing out of the window Crown argued on 3 bases: 1. Accused pushed her, 2. It was an accident that she fell, 3. She had an apprehension of violence from the accused and jumped. HELD: Causation was the accused had contributed significantly to the death of the victim

Criminal Code 1899: s295

Causing death by threats A person who, by threats or intimidation of any kind, or by deceit, causes another person to do an act or make an omission, which results in the death of that other person, is deemed to have killed the other person.

s297

When injury or death might have been prevented by proper precaution When a person causes a bodily injury to another from which death results, it is immaterial that the injury might have been avoided by proper precaution on the part of the person injured, or that the injured person's death from that injury might have been prevented by proper care or treatment.

Test of Causation: objective test - did the actions of the accused contribute significantly or substantially to the death of the victim?

8|

Exam


The

Principles

of

Criminal

Law

Notes


R v Kinash A baby was fatally beaten by its father Taken to the hospital and put on life support but still no signs of life It was decided that the life support machine was to be switched off ISSUE OF CAUSATION o Even though the doctors turned off the machine, it was the fault of the father because the baby would not have been in that situation but for the actions of the father o Beating a baby - foreseeable that they would be killed

*

*

*

*

Burns v R Drug supplying case Burns supplied drugs to a client Client took the drugs and died Death was a consequence of the drugs given to him by Burns as well as the fact that he injected himself with a syringe containing another drug HELD: Chain of causation had been broken o French CJ: "his own action in injecting"
SS? did not consider a lower court decision which discussed the predictable response of an adult

* selling drugs implies that the buyer will take them

*

*

*

*

*

Intention: Bench Book '... intent and intention are familiar words. In this legal context, they carry their ordinary meaning. In ascertaining the defendant's intention, you are drawing an inference from the facts which you find established by the evidence concerning his state of mind. Intention may be inferred or deduced from the circumstances in which the death eventuated and from the conduct of the defendant before, at the time of, or after he did the specific act which caused the death. And, of course, whatever a person has said about his intention may be looked at for the purpose of deciding what that intention was at the relevant time.'

*

*

*

*

SUBJECTIVE TEST

If you intend to do something, you hold that outcome in your mind o motive may not be relevant as to why you hold that intention No distinction between intention and motive o Motive = outcome at a level broader than the immediate action/death Desire has been mentioned as a synonym for intention o irrelevant to have a desire because you may to an act without desire but still intend to do it

SEMESTER ONE | 9

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Principles of Criminal Law Notes.