Deconstructing Unlawful Act Manslaughter

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to separate out and justify two means of proving manslaughter by an unlawful (and dangerous) act. One is manslaughter by an act of intended bodily harm. The other is manslaughter by an unlawful and dangerous act. Some historical authority for these two kinds of unlawful act manslaughter is established, but the line of argument centres on the separate justifications for each kind. The justification for manslaughter by an act of intended bodily harm centres on the relationship between intention and luck. The justification for manslaughter by an unlawful and dangerous act concentrates on the distinction between negligence and heedlessness. This article concludes that manslaughter by an act of intended bodily harm may be justifiable, but that this may be possible where death is caused through any advertent crime. This is with a view to potential development or reform through the courts or Law Commission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-124
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Criminal Law
Volume81
Issue number2
Early online date9 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

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Keywords

  • Unlawful act manslaughter
  • moral luck
  • intention
  • negligence
  • heedlessness

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