Friday, October 19, 2012

R v Kennedy (No 2) case brief

R v Kennedy (No 2)
[2007] UKHL 38

Unlawful act manslaughter – causation – drug dealers / suppliers
-Kennedy prepared a syringe for the victim, who injected himself and died of an overdose as a result. -Following several earlier cases, Kennedy was convicted of the unlawful act of manslaughter.
-The reasoning ignored the problem of causation.

-Generally speaking, where a third party acts in a free, voluntary and informed way and causes the result, this will break the chain of causation for the original defendant.
-The act of the victim, in injecting himself with the drug, was a free, voluntary and informed action. -Kennedy was not a secondary to an unlawful act of the victim, as injecting himself was not unlawful.

-The House of Lords stated the law on drug dealers and unlawful act manslaughter very clearly, and thereby resolved several years' of academic debate.
-The court ruled that where a drug dealer supplies drugs and the victim injects themselves and later dies, the drug dealer can never be guilty of unlawful act manslaughter, as the chain of causation is broken.

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