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Homicide Law and Defences 2018 > Case law > Flashcards

Flashcards in Case law Deck (23):

R v TAREI (Withdraw Life support)

In R v Tarei the Court held that the withdrawal of any form of life support system is not “treatment” under s166 Crimes Act 1961. To withdraw life support does not cause death but removes the possibility of extending the person’s life through artificial means.


R v KAMIPELI (Defence of intoxication)

For intoxication to succeed as a defence, all you need to establish is reasonable doubt about the defendant’s required state of mind at the time of the offence.
It does not have to be shown that the defendant was incapable of forming the mens rea, merely that, because of their drunken state, they did not have the proper state of mind to be guilty.
the Crown must prove the intent required by the crime alleged.


R v COX (Consent)

consent must be “full, voluntary, free and informed … freely and voluntarily given by a person in a position to form a rational judgment.”


R v MANE (Accessory after the fact)

For a person to be an accessory the offence must be complete at the time of the criminal involvement. One cannot be convicted of being an accessory after the fact of murder when the actus reus of the alleged criminal conduct was wholly completed before the offence of homicide was completed.


R v MYATT (Unlawful Act)

[Before a breach of any Act, regulation or bylaw would be an unlawful act under s 160 for the purposes of culpable homicide] it must be an act likely to do harm to the deceased or to some class of persons of whom he was one.


R v TOMARS (Threats, fear of violence and deception)

Formulates the issues in the following way:
1. Was the deceased threatened by, in fear of or deceived by the defendant?
2. If they were, did such threats, fear or deception cause the deceased to do the act that caused their death?
3. Was the act a natural consequence of the actions of the defendant, in the sense that reasonable and responsible people in the defendant’s position at the time could reasonably have foreseen the consequences?
4. Did these foreseeable actions of the victim contribute in a [significant] way to his death?


Why is attempted murder one of the most difficult offences in the CA61 to prove beyond reasonable doubt?
R V MURPHY (Attempted Murder)

When proving an attempt to commit an offence it must be shown that the accused’s intention was to commit the substantive offence. For example, in a case of attempted murder it is necessary for the Crown to establish an actual intent to kill:


Discuss the case FORREST & FORREST and outline the case law (Proof of age)

In R v FORREST & FORREST two men were charged with having sexual intercourse with a 14 year old girl who had run away from Child Welfare custody. At trial the girl produced her birth certificate and gave evidence herself that she was the person named in the certificate. The men successfully appealed their convictions on the grounds that the Crown had not adequately proved the girl's age.

The best evidence possible in the circumstances should be adduced by the prosecution in proof of the victims age.


R v RANGER (Pre-emptive strike)

if this defendant did really think that the lives of herself and her son were in peril because of the deceased, enraged after the struggle, might attempt to shoot them with a rifle near at hand, then it would be going too far, we think, to say that the jury could not entertain a reasonable doubt as to whether a pre-emptive strike with a knife would be reasonable force in all the circumstances


R v HORRY (Where body is not located)

Death should be provable by such circumstances as render it morally certain and leave no ground for reasonable doubt – that the circumstantial evidence should be so cogent and compelling as to convince a jury that upon no rational hypothesis other than murder can the facts be accounted for.


R v HARNEY (Recklessness)

“Recklessness means the conscious and deliberate taking of an unjustified risk. In New Zealand it involves proof that the consequence complained of could well happen, together with an intention to continue the course of conduct regardless of risk.”


R v COTTLE? (Burden of Proof of insanity)

As to degree of proof, it is sufficient if the plea is established to the satisfaction of the jury on a preponderance of probabilities without necessarily excluding all reasonable doubt.


R v BLAUE (Preventable death)

Those who use violence must take their victims as they find them.


R v CLANCY (Proof of age)

the best evidence as to the date and place of a child's birth will normally be provided by a person attending at the birth or the child's mother ... Production of the birth certificate, if available, may have added to the evidence but was not essential


POLICE v LAVELLE (Entrapment)

It is permissible for undercover officers to merely provide the opportunity for someone who is ready and willing to offend, as long as the officers did not initiate the person’s interest or willingness to so offend.


Murray Wright Ltd (Murder)

Because the killing must be done by a human being, an organisation (such as a hospital or food company) cannot be convicted as a principal offender:


R v Piri (Recklessness)

Recklessness [here] involves a conscious, deliberate risk taking. The degree of risk of death foreseen by the accused under either s167(b) or (d) must be more than negligible or remote. The accused must recognise a “real or substantial risk” that death would be caused:


R v Desmond (Killing in pursuit of an unlawful object:)

Not only must the object be unlawful, but also the accused must know that his act is likely to cause death. It must be shown that his knowledge accompanied the act causing death.


R v Clark (Burden of Proof)

The decision as to an accused’s insanity is always for the jury and a verdict inconsistent with medical evidence is not necessarily unreasonable. But where unchallenged medical evidence is supported by the surrounding facts a jury’s verdict must be founded on that evidence which in this case shows that the accused did not and had been unable to know that his act was morally wrong.


R v Codere (Nature and quality of the act)

The nature and quality of the act means the physical character of the act. The phrase does not involve any consideration of the accused’s moral perception nor his knowledge of the moral quality of the act. Thus a person who is so deluded that he cuts a woman’s throat believing that he is cutting a loaf of bread would not know the nature and quality of his act.


R v Cottle (Automatism)

Doing something without knowledge of it and without memory afterwards of having done it - a temporary eclipse of consciousness that nevertheless leaves the person so affected able to exercise bodily movements.


R v Joyce (Presence)

The Court of Appeal decided that the compulsion must be made by a person who is present when the offence is committed.


R v Harpur (Several acts together may constitute an attempt)

[The Court may] have regard to the conduct viewed cumulatively up to the point when the conduct in question stops ... the defendant’s conduct [may] be considered in its entirety. Considering how much remains to be done ... is always relevant, though not determinative.