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9. Defences:Insanity and Automatism Mental Impairment General Tensions
* Tensions between the rights of society to punish for crimes, and the rights of an individual who is not 'responsible' for his/her actions, due to mental impairment.
* Tensions between two disciplines: law and medicine / psychiatry Insanity (Mental Illness) The insanity defence allows a defendant who was seriously mentally impaired at the time of committing an offence to escape a conviction. The rules governing the insanity defence are as follows:
* It can only be used in the higher courts.
* The presumption is that the defendant is sane: M'Naghten's Case(1843)
* The presumption of capacity can only be displaced by evidence, usually medical evidence: Falconer (1990)
* The defence of insanity can be raised by both the defence and the prosecution.
* The standard of proof required is on the balance of probabilities: Ayoub  2 NSWLR 511. The test (element) for insanity defence is as follows:
* A jury has to ask whether, at the time of committing the act: M'Naghten's Case(1843):
* At the time of the offence,
* the accused was labouring under a defect of reason;
* A defect of reason means
* A defect of cognition (ie capacity re understanding) - not sufficient if merely confused/
* A 'malfunction of mental faculties': Radford (1985)
* A defect of reason does not mean a defect of volition (i.e., exercise of will)
* Uncontrollable impulse, without more, not sufficient for mental illness defence: Sodeman (1936)
* Lack of emotional feeling or moral appreciation is not cognitive defect, and thus does not a defect of reason: Willgoss (1960)
* NB: Code jurisdictions (include Commonwealth) say not criminally responsible if can't control self.
Insulin Case: Paddisin (1973)
1. D diabetic took insulin but ate little and drank alcohol - committed assault
2. Trial: med evidence says D's hypoglycaemia
= mental illness, not Automatism.
3. CA: policy statement by Denning in Bratty too broad w/o qualification - can't send diabetic to mental hospital for low blood sugar reaction when easy remedy = lump of sugar!
4. Here: mental malfunction due to external factor (insulin) and not to disease of mind Hennessy (1989 UK):
1. D diabetic failed to take insulin for few days - hyperglycaemic - committed theft
2. In Quick, D's state of mind due to insulin (external), but here it was due to diabetes (internal)
3. It was held a disease of mind. Position in Australia unclear
* due to a disease of the mind;
* Disease of mind may be temporary or permanent: Porter (1933)
* Disease of mind concerned with "the understanding" - the mind's functions are thrown into disorder, i.e., disease of mind focuses on "the mind", not solely on physical deterioration of brain cells.
* Requires a disorder, merely a high emotional state of the 'normal' man does not count: (Mere excitability of a normal man, passion, even stupidity, obtuseness, lack of selfcontrol, and impulsiveness, are all quite different to a disease of mind)
* A mental disorder that 'manifests itself in violence and is prone to recur' is a disease of the mind (eg, schizophrenia): Bratty v AG (NI)
* A mental disorder arising from an external cause is not a disease of the mind:
* Mental malfunctioning of a transitory nature caused by some external factor such as violence, drugs, alcohol, etc, has been held not to be due to disease: Radford (1985). Quick
; Paddisin (1973) 1
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