Homicide Post-Jogee

Room 111 Law School
Thursday 22 June 2017 (13:00-14:00)

Dr John Child is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex, and a visiting scholar for this month.  He will give a talk on the implications of the Supreme Court case of Jogee [2016] UKSC 7 on the law of homicide. He is an alumnus of Birmingham Law School both for his undergraduate degree and for his PhD.  He has also co-authored with Adrian Hunt and Gavin Byrne. His work on Jogee is also a collaborative effort with a former colleague, Professor Bob Sullivan.

Homicide post-Jogee

J.J. Child and G.R. Sullivan

Abstract: This paper explores the implications of the Supreme Court case of Jogee [2016] UKSC 7 on the law of homicide. First I will focus on murder. A large proportion of murder convictions were secured pre-Jogee through doctrines of complicity and joint enterprise, routes to liability that merely required a defendant (D) to act with foresight of a risk that the principal offender (P) would kill with the intention to kill or cause GBH. Jogee aims to ‘correct’ this, only allowing D to be liable for murder alongside P where she intended murder to be committed. In significantly narrowing this major route to murder liability, however, the Supreme Court’s judgment and its aftermath must be studied closely. Most significantly, in light of subsequent case law in England and Wales and other common law jurisdictions, it may be that the narrowing is not as substantial as one might assume, with conceptions of intention and conditional intention being stretched to include states more naturally described in terms of foresight. The question is whether these represent short-term transitional uncertainties, or something more fundamental about the normative boundaries to the law of murder. The second part will extend this debate to include manslaughter offences. The Supreme Court in Jogee suggest that complicity in manslaughter will provide a straightforward safety-net of liability for those no longer liable for complicity in murder. This view has been challenged by academics, and the nature and validity of this challenge requires investigation.   

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