Assess the use of defences to criminal charges in achieving justice (1 Viewer)


listening to tapes
Jun 10, 2012
welcome to ur tape
Uni Grad
someone asked me this question so i thought i would give the essay plan i wrote available to everyone:

Question: "Assess the use of defences to criminal charges in achieving justice"

chosen defences:
  • mental illness
  • self-defence
  • provocation
criteria for assessment:
- efficiency
- enforceable
- achieve justice for
  • offender
  • victims
  • society

Mental Illness key points
  • not used as often as one might think (only 1.4% of cases actually result in a not guilty verdict "Going crazy in the courtroom" [SMH, 2013])
  • very rigorous in proving it (Outlines in the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act)
  • They "don't get away with it" but rather are found not-guilty and placed in a mental hospital (or whatever they're called)
Self Defence key points
  • Very controversial
  • defined by judge in R v Katarzynski (2002) as "the defendant did what s/he thought was needed to defend himself or someone else from a threat" but this defence is very subjective ("What could defending yourself mean?", (SMH, 2012) )
  • Case of Bracken v R (2007) made the point that the force used was "beyond required" and he went to jail. this is bad because he thought that he needed to use x amount of force when in fact he only needed 0.5x [, The Age (2014)]
  • Before 2013 was not allowed to be used pre-emptively but the Crimes (Amendment) [Defences to Murder] Act 2013 changed after R v Conlon (2012)
Provocation key points
  • even more controversial
  • provoking is subjective so people have different lines. R v Camplin (1978) [Context: Uncle raped him so the kid killed him] shows us that his situation was unique and that a reasonable person in the same situation would have behaved similarly in the same situation.
  • However this is being used excessively and inappropriately in cases of domestic violence and homosexual advances. Example in R v Singh (2012) [Context: Mr singh got 6yrs for killing is wife after she asked for a divorce] made the point that "an average man would have also done the same" but SMH, 2012 argued the converse.
  • People are also using this for homosexual advances. In The Queen v Green (can't remember year) the guy killed him because another gay guy started hitting on him - not justice
  • talk about the Ramage case and the media outbreak
  • prior to 2013 defendants who fought their case to court had their defence as a "surprise" which usually would wack the prosecution. but since the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Mandatory Pre-*‐trial Defence Disclosure) Act 2013 it is now compulsory for the defence to be disclosed to the prosecution before the trial and discuss how this is good for R/Victims and bad for defendants
Last edited:


New Member
Feb 5, 2015
Thanks! I had the exact same question, this really helped me out :)

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