The Pros And Cons Of Insanity And Automatism

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Defence refers to the case presented by or on behalf of the party accused of a crime or being sued in a civil lawsuit. Here the focus is insanity and automatism which are common law defences and mental defences for those who suffered mental illness when committing the prohibited act. When defendant lack of certain capacities and controls when doing an act, criminal responsibilities may be exempted.
Insanity, known as insane automatism, which refers specifically to conditions that impair one's ability to discharge one's legal responsibilities. It is partial defence to those who suffering mental disorders as to unaware of their acts or who do not know his act is wrong. Defendant can still be retained even though found not guilty.
In 1843,
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Key case that will be discussed is R v Bailey , where defendant attacked victim on the head and was charged under s18 and s20 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861. He was a diabetic, who failed to eat after taken insulin and this cause hypoglycaemia and led to his uncontrollable act. He was convicted under s18 and automatism was not applied as it had been self-induced. Thus, it can be said that when there is specific intent offence, defendant who suffer automatism will not be guilty but if it is basic intent crime due to voluntary intoxication, self-induced automatism will not be the …show more content…
Defendant can adduce evidence to show his act was involuntary . If the prosecution fails to do so, the defence succeeds and results in a complete acquittal for any offence charged.
Relationship between insanity and automatism distinct by internal and external factor. Significant concern is defendant with diabetes. In R v Hennessy , defendant had no memory that he got into a stolen car and crashed it as he didn’t take insulin for three days and was hyperglycaemia, which excessive blood sugar. His act was affected by the high blood sugar which is internal factor and amount to insanity.
Contrasting case is R v Quick . Defendant was a diabetic and injured a person during blackout. He had taken insulin but only had little meal and drinking and this led to hypoglycaemia which excessive insulin. He pleaded not guilty under automatism but trial judge held that he can only raise defence of insanity. He then plead guilty and appealed. Court of Appeal held that his conviction was quashed and defence of automatism can be raised as his involuntary act was caused by insulin, an external factor not underlying diabetes and P was aiding him in the

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