Homicide and the excuse of accident: reform, abolish or retain?

Barrett, Malcolm (2008) Homicide and the excuse of accident: reform, abolish or retain? In: Australasian Law Teachers Association 63rd Annual Conference: the law, the environment, Indigenous peoples: climate for change?. p. 61. From: 2008 Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference: the law, the environment, Indigenous peoples: climate for change?, 6-9 July 2008, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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In October 2007 the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General released a discussion paper which called for comments and feedback as to appropriateness of the current laws relating to the excuse of accident and its application to homicide offences. The discussion papers were in response to the considerable community interest that followed two high profile homicide cases. In each of the cases a jury acquitted in circumstances where the accused had perpetrated significant acts of violence against the victim but where at trial the accused sought to rely on the excuse of accident. The discussion paper questioned whether, in light of the high profile acquittals, the law relating to the excuse of accident reflects community expectations. As the excuse of accident provides the fault element for offences which do not require the Crown to prove the existence of a specific mental element and the discussion paper was limited to its application to homicide offences the Queensland review is concerned with the appropriate fault element for the offence of manslaughter.

This paper will review the evolution of the law that is currently the subject of review. The paper will focus on the difficulty faced by courts in applying the excuse in circumstances where a victim has died as a result of acts of violence perpetrated by the accused. The paper will also compare the current state of the law in Queensland with that of other jurisdictions that are currently reviewing their laws relating to manslaughter. Finally the paper will evaluate whether the excuse as it relates to homicide should be retained, reformed or abolished.

Item ID: 27974
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-0646-49497-5
Keywords: criminal law, homicide
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2013 05:52
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1899 Other Law and Legal Studies > 189999 Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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