Defining Fault in Loss of Control: Determining Culpability Through Excuse Theory

Amanda Clough*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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In English law, fault has regard for the blameworthiness of a defendant, with a focus on the mens rea at the time of a culpable act. For murder, the highest level of fault is required; an intention to kill or cause serious harm. This work will focus on the partial defence of loss of control, where although it is acknowledged that this state of mind exists, the concept of fault in some cases is divided between the defendant’s perceived fault in the victim’s actions, and the defendant’s lack of fair opportunity to adhere to the law, in order to create an avenue to a conviction only of manslaughter. Though this will not always be the situation, establishing if there is fault on part of the victim through provocative conduct, leading to a lack of control at the time of the fatal act, can be crucial in demonstrating a lesser degree of fault on part of the defendant, uncoupling them from the mandatory life sentence for murder.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFault in Criminal Law
Subtitle of host publicationA Research Companion
EditorsAlan Reed, Michael Bohlander
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003279181
ISBN (Print)9781032245362
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2022

Publication series

NameSubstantive Issues in Criminal Law


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