It's time to abolish diminished responsibility, the coach and horses' defence through criminal responsibility for murder

Hemming, Andrew (2008) It's time to abolish diminished responsibility, the coach and horses' defence through criminal responsibility for murder. University of Notre Dame Australia Law Review, 10. pp. 1-35. ISSN 1441-9769

Abstract

Diminished responsibility is a partial defence to murder which, if proven, reduces criminal liability for unlawful homicide from murder to manslaughter. This paper contends that given the vagueness, uncertainty and practical difficulties associated with the defence of diminished responsibility, it should be abolished completely in Australia as the very breadth of the defence, allows a coach and horses to be driven through criminal responsibility for murder. It will be contended that the availability of the defence of diminished responsibility is not appropriate even in jurisdictions such as Queensland and the Northern Territory which retain a mandatory life sentence for murder. Furthermore, it will be argued that attempts to reformulate the defence of diminished responsibility are akin to seeking to glue back together a shattered vessel.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author version not held.
Depositing User: ePrints Administrator
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Law
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2011 00:28
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2014 23:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: diminished responsibility; defence; criminal responsibility
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160504 Crime Policy
16 Studies in Human Society > 1602 Criminology > 160204 Criminological Theories
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940403 Criminal Justice
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18609

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