Submission to Northern Territory Law Reform Committee on the relationship between intoxication and criminal liability

Hemming, Andrew (2013) Submission to Northern Territory Law Reform Committee on the relationship between intoxication and criminal liability. Technical Report. Northern Territory Government , Darwin, Australia. [Report]

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Abstract

The appropriate relationship between intoxication and criminal responsibility in terms of what constitutes ‘good’ public policy depends on one’s perspective. Those who place the presumption of innocence until proved otherwise as the highest priority, will favour R v O’Connor where the circumstance of intoxication is but one factor in the evidence against the accused. Those who place the protection of the community above the rights of the individual where the accused voluntarily chooses to consume alcohol and/or drugs, will favour DPP v Majewski where offences are categorised into offences of specific or basic intent. This was the effective dividing line between the majority (4) and the minority (3) in R v O’Connor.

The current treatment of intoxication and criminal liability in s 43AS is wholly unsatisfactory and confusing. It can be readily amended under any of the four main options listed above. The final selection of the preferred option depends on a subjective set of values as ‘good’ public policy depends on one’s perspective. One absolute point can be made: the legislature is duty bound to its citizens to clearly set out its policy position by way of legislation on the treatment of intoxication and criminal liability.


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Item Type: Report (Technical Report)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions preventing deposit.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 00:04
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2017 06:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: intoxication; Northern Territory; law reform
Fields of Research : 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/27051

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