Diminished Responsibility Determinations in England and Wales and New South Wales: Whose Role is it Anyway?

Thomas Crofts*, Nicola Wake

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A decade has passed since changes to Homicide Act 1957, s.2 under s.52 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, s.52 were implemented. The issues that have arisen since implementation have resulted in significant role confusion in the operation of the partial defence, with the real risk of inconsistent outcomes in practice. The article argues that medicalisation of the partial defence in E&W has impacted the role of parties in reaching plea agreements pre-trial, rendered the delineation between legal and medical questions regarding the recognised medical condition requisite unclear, and produced significant role confusion between medical experts and jurors in assessing the partial defence. The position stands in stark contrast to the approach under Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) s.23A, where the legislation explicitly outlines the respective role of the medical expert and jurors and prohibits experts from commenting on whether murder ought to be reduced to manslaughter in such cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-362
Number of pages39
JournalNorthern Ireland Legal Quarterly
Volume72
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2021

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