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Criminal complicity: A comparative analysis of homicide liability. / Sarah Weston
Swansea University Author: Sarah, Weston
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The work considers the construction of homicide liability where two or more parties participate in a crime that culminates in a homicide collateral to the original criminal purpose. Under English law, this scenario is encountered in joint enterprise cases and, in 1997, the House of Lords gave a judg...
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The work considers the construction of homicide liability where two or more parties participate in a crime that culminates in a homicide collateral to the original criminal purpose. Under English law, this scenario is encountered in joint enterprise cases and, in 1997, the House of Lords gave a judgement intended to clarify the liability of participating non-perpetrators of homicides committed during the execution of joint criminal enterprises. In 1993, the Law Commission recommended amending the doctrinal basis of complicity. Omitting joint enterprise from the new framework, it was suggested that it be recognised as a separate doctrine. In order to assess the Law Commission's proposals and the House of Lords' judgement, the historical progress and socio-political context of complicity and homicide are examined prior to analysing the alternative doctrinal foundations for secondary liability, including the relationship between complicity, incitement and conspiracy. In concluding that an amendment to the doctrinal basis of complicity fails to deliver convincingly comprehensive solutions to the existing problems and that joint enterprise cannot stand alone as a meaningfully discrete head of liability, attention is focussed upon the impact of the substantive law of murder and involuntary manslaughter upon secondary liability. It is submitted that the unpalatable theoretical solutions to secondary party homicide liability gain potency from the development of substantive homicide and from the uneven results achieved when applying the substantive law to accessories. The principal comparative model is South African law. Having chosen to adopt common purpose liability from English law and develop the resulting liability alongside Roman-Dutch principles. South Africa provides both similarities and differences with English developments. Furthermore, consideration of the cases that pervaded the apartheid era provide a further insight into the socio-political context of this area of the law. Both the English and South African material include cases up to and including 30 June 2002.
College of Human and Health Sciences