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Flashcards in Defences Involving State of Mind Deck (30)
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1
Q

Insanity

A

23
Insanity

(1) Every one shall be presumed to be sane at the time of doing or omitting any act until the contrary is proved.
(2) No person shall be convicted of an offence by reason of an act done or omitted by him when labouring under natural imbecility or disease of the mind to such an extent as to render him incapable—
(a) Of understanding the nature and quality of the act or omission; or
(b) Of knowing that the act or omission was morally wrong, having regard to the commonly accepted standards of right and wrong.
(3) Insanity before or after the time when he did or omitted the act, and insane delusions, though only partial, may be evidence that the offender was, at the time when he did or omitted the act, in such a condition of mind as to render him irresponsible for the act or omission.

2
Q

insanity is a matter for

A

the defence to raise and the prosecution is prohibited from adducing evidence of insanity even if the accused has sought acquittal because of some state of mind not amounting to insanity

3
Q

Besides defence, who else can put the matter of insanity before a jury?

A

The judge

4
Q

A person can be acquitted of a charge, even if they or their counsel have not put up the defence of insanity, if

A

there is strong evidence to indicate that the defendant did commit the alleged offence but was insane at the time

5
Q

Where there is strong evidence to suggest that the defendant was insane at the time and the defence don’t offer it as a defence, the judge must…

A

direct the jury’s attention to the defence of insanity and must notify the jury that if it decides to acquit the defendant it must be specific as to whether this is on the grounds of the defendant’s innocence or their insanity.

6
Q

In relation to insanity, who has the burden of proof?

A

The defence

7
Q

The M’Naghten’s rules are frequently used to establish whether or not a defendant is insane. It is based on the person’s ability to think rationally, so that if a person is insane they were acting under such a defect of reason from a disease of the mind that they did not know:

A
  • the nature and quality of their actions, or

* that what they were doing was wrong.

8
Q

mind
The Courts have not attempted a precise or comprehensive definition of the term “a disease of the mind”. It has been said to be

A

“a term which defies precise definition and which can comprehend mental derangement in the widest sense”

9
Q

A condition may be a disease of the mind…

A

whether or not there is any damage to the brain or other physical organ, and the disorder may be permanent or temporary, of short or long duration, curable or incurable

10
Q

“Disease of the mind” does not include

A

a temporary mental disorder caused by some factor external

11
Q

Who decides whether the defendant has a disease of the mind?

A

The judge, medical professionals may comment however their findings are not final.

12
Q

Does the test for morally wrong include the need to establish that they knew it was legally wrong as well?

A

No

13
Q

What is the consequence where someone is found unfit to stand trial or acquitted on account of his or her insanity

A

The may be detained as a special patient or special care recipient

14
Q

Where a person has been found unfit to stand trial, what must the court decide

A

whether to detain, release or apply alternative orders to the person. In reaching its decision, the court must consider all the circumstances, and may hear further medical evidence concerning whether release or alternative measures are safe in the public interest.

15
Q

Automatism

A

a state of total blackout, during which a person is not conscious of their actions and not in control of them.

16
Q

What is the culpability of a person suffering from automatism?

A

common law rule is that there is no criminal liability for such conduct.

17
Q

Examples of Automatism

A
Concussion
Sleepwalking
Brain tumor
Epilepsy
Alcohol or drugs
18
Q

What is important to note about automatism brought on by alcohol or drugs?

A

Where is was voluntary consumption the court may be reluctant to accept that the actions were involuntary and evidence to support their claim is required.

19
Q

Sane automatism vs Insane automatism

A

Sane:
the result of somnambulism (sleepwalking), a blow to the head or the effects of drugs

insane:
the result of a mental disease.

20
Q

Example of an offence with where no proof of intent is required.

A

Driving with an excess breath alcohol content.

21
Q

Example of an offence with where proof of intent is required.

A

Any offence that has intent as an element of the offence. An example is assault which requires intent

22
Q

The general rule has been that intoxication may be a defence to the commission of an offence:

A
  • where the intoxication causes a disease of the mind so as to bring s23 (Insanity) of the Crimes Act 1961 into effect
  • if intent is required as an essential element of the offence and the drunkenness is such that the defence can plead a lack of intent to commit the offence
  • where the intoxication causes a state of automatism (complete acquittal).
23
Q

for intoxication to succeed as a defence, all you need to establish is

A

reasonable doubt about the defendant’s required state of mind at the time of the offence.

24
Q

Intoxication can be used as a defence in New Zealand to

A

any crime that requires intent

25
Q

Any offence that does not require an intent is called

A

a strict liability offence

26
Q

the only way a defendant can escape liability for a strict liability offence…

A

is to prove a total absence of fault`

27
Q

What is important to note where people use intoxication as a defence in a homicide or other serious crime?

A

evidence that a person formed an intent to commit a crime and then took drink or drugs as part of the method of committing the crime (gaining Dutch courage) will disqualify a defence of drunkenness or automatism.

28
Q

How does intoxication relate to ignorance of the law?

A

If intoxication is used to try to establish ignorance of the law, it will not establish a defence.

29
Q

Ignorance of law

A

25
Ignorance of law

The fact that an offender is ignorant of the law is not an excuse for any offence committed by him.

30
Q

What happens where a child is ignorant to the law?

A

Where a child does not know their act was contrary to law, they will not be liable for any offence