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7.2.2.3 - Checklist: Manslaughter by Unlawful and Dangerous Act

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Four elements the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused committed an act that caused the victim’s death (‘the relevant act’); and
  2. The accused committed the relevant act consciously, voluntarily and deliberately; and
  3. The relevant act was unlawful; and
  4. The relevant act was dangerous.

 

Causation

1. Did the accused commit the act that caused the victim’s death?

Consider – Was the accused’s act a substantial or significant cause of the victim’s death?

If Yes, then go to 2.

If No, then the Accused is not guilty of Manslaughter

Conscious, Voluntary and Deliberate

2. Did the accused commit the relevant act consciously, voluntarily and deliberately?

If Yes, then go to 3.

If No, then the Accused is not guilty of Manslaughter

Unlawful Act

3. Was the relevant act unlawful?

Consider – Has the prosecution proved all the elements of [insert offence]?

If Yes, then go to 4.

If No, then the Accused is not guilty of Manslaughter

Dangerous

4. Was the relevant act dangerous?

Consider – "Dangerous" means that a reasonable person in the position of the accused, performing that act, would have realised that he or she was exposing the victim to an appreciable risk of serious injury.

If Yes, then the accused is guilty of Manslaughter
(as long as you have also answered Yes to questions 1, 2 and 3).

If No, then the Accused is not guilty of Manslaughter

 

Last updated: 14 December 2010

See Also

7.2.2 - Manslaughter by Unlawful and Dangerous Act

7.2.2.1 - Charge: Manslaughter by Unlawful and Dangerous Act (Principal Offence)

7.2.2.2 - Charge: Manslaughter by Unlawful and Dangerous Act (Alternative to Murder)