Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Anomalies of Section 2 of the Homicide Act 1957.
  1. A Kenny


    Section 2 of the 1957 Homicide Act is indefensible: the concept of 'mental responsibility' is a hybrid which turns the psychiatrist witness either into a thirteenth juryman or a spare barrister. But reform does not lie along the lines suggested by the Butler Committee or the Criminal Law Revision Committee. The latter leaves the jury with insufficient guidance; the former returns to the bad eighteenth century policy of treating mental illness not as a factor in determining responsibility but as a status exempting from responsibility. The much criticised McNaughton rules provide a sounder basis for deciding where responsibility should be assigned in criminal cases.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.