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Patrick Layden, QC, TD

Team members
Heike Gading, Project Manager
(Vacant), Legal Assistant


We have begun a review of the law of homicide, our first look into this area of the criminal law.  The project is included in our Eighth Programme of Law Reform as a medium-term project.  The project evolved from proposals contained in the 7th Programme of Law Reform which aimed to examine the following criminal defences: provocation, self defence, coercion and necessity. 

Following consultation on the 8th Programme of Law Reform, and in light of recent developments in other jurisdictions, the decision was taken to expand the project to encompass a general review of the law of homicide which would include a review of the defences discussed above.  In addition to the above mentioned defences, the review will encompass a comprehensive examination of the mens rea (the required mental element) for the crime of homicide.  The team note the comments made by the then Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Gill, while sitting as part of a 5 judge bench at the High Court of Justiciary in the Petto and Telford appeals, that  “a comprehensive re-examination of the mental element in homicide is long overdue”. 

Due to other priorities, work on this project is not progressing at present.

For more information, please contact: