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This article takes a critical look at the Privy Council's split decision in AG for Jersey v Holley in which the majority held that there should be an objective standard of self-control in the defence of provocation. With the possible exception of age and sex, the only characteristics of the defendant which can now be taken into account when applying the objective test are those which were the object of the provocation. We think that the distinction between characteristics relevant to the provocation and those relevant to loss of self-control is unsound, and that the majority's ruling that provocation and diminished responsibility are mutually exclsuive is based on an incorrect understanding of the relationship between normal and abnormal defendants. In our view the appropriate way forward is to take and lead from and build upon Lord Hoffmann's speech in Morgan Smith [2002] AC 146”.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.
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