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The intoxication defence: toward a better understanding of current doctrine and reform

Arenson, Kenneth J. 2015, The intoxication defence: toward a better understanding of current doctrine and reform, Australian law journal, vol. 89, no. 3, pp. 190-204.

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Title The intoxication defence: toward a better understanding of current doctrine and reform
Author(s) Arenson, Kenneth J.
Journal name Australian law journal
Volume number 89
Issue number 3
Start page 190
End page 204
Total pages 15
Publisher Thomson Reuters
Place of publication Sydney, N. S. W.
Publication date 2015-03
ISSN 0004-9611
Keyword(s) Intoxication Defence
Majewski Rule
O'Connor
Summary This article deals with the contentious issue of the extent to which an intoxicated person, particularly one who has become inebriated of his or her own volition, should be permitted to escape liability on the basis that the degree of inebriation was sufficient to preclude the fact-finder from finding a volitional act or omission on the part of the accused and/or that he or she acted with the required mens rea, if any, as defined by the common law or statutory definition of the offence. In addressing this issue, the article embarks upon a thorough analysis of the House of Lords seminal decision in Director of Public Prosecutions v Majewski (1977) AC 443 which, despite some very harsh criticism of late, continues to be the leading authority on the question in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. As part of this analysis, the article examines and ultimately attempts to resolve the longstanding controversy over what has proved to be the elusive distinction between crimes of basic or general intent and those of specific intent. The article concludes by rejecting the Majewski principles in favour of those enunciated by the High Court of Australia in R v O'Connor (1980) 146 CLR 64; 54 ALJR. In reaching this conclusion, the article notes various legislative and academic proposals for reform as well as statutory reforms in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia.
Language eng
Field of Research 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
Socio Economic Objective 970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Thomson Reuters
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081639

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Law
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