Search Legislation

Coroners and Justice Act 2009

What Version

 Help about what version

Advanced Features

 Help about advanced features

Changes to legislation:

There are currently no known outstanding effects for the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, Chapter 1. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. At the current time any known changes or effects made by subsequent legislation have been applied to the text of the legislation you are viewing by the editorial team. Please see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for details regarding the timescales for which new effects are identified and recorded on this site.

Chapter 1E+W+N.I.Murder, infanticide and suicide

Partial defence to murder: diminished responsibilityE+W

52Persons suffering from diminished responsibility (England and Wales)E+W

(1)In section 2 of the Homicide Act 1957 (c. 11) (persons suffering from diminished responsibility), for subsection (1) substitute—

(1)A person (“D”) who kills or is a party to the killing of another is not to be convicted of murder if D was suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning which—

(a)arose from a recognised medical condition,

(b)substantially impaired D's ability to do one or more of the things mentioned in subsection (1A), and

(c)provides an explanation for D's acts and omissions in doing or being a party to the killing.

(1A)Those things are—

(a)to understand the nature of D's conduct;

(b)to form a rational judgment;

(c)to exercise self-control.

(1B)For the purposes of subsection (1)(c), an abnormality of mental functioning provides an explanation for D's conduct if it causes, or is a significant contributory factor in causing, D to carry out that conduct.

(2)In section 6 of the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 (c. 84) (evidence by prosecution of insanity or diminished responsibility), in paragraph (b) for “mind” substitute “ mental functioning ”.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I1S. 52 in force at 4.10.2010 by S.I. 2010/816, art. 5(a)

53Persons suffering from diminished responsibility (Northern Ireland)E+W

(1)Section 5 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 (c. 20) (effect, in cases of homicide, of impaired mental responsibility) is amended as follows.

(2)For subsection (1) substitute—

(1)A person (“D”) who kills or is a party to the killing of another is not to be convicted of murder if D was suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning which—

(a)arose from a recognised mental condition,

(b)substantially impaired D's ability to do one or more of the things mentioned in subsection (1A), and

(c)provides an explanation for D's acts and omissions in doing or being a party to the killing.

(1A)Those things are—

(a)to understand the nature of D's conduct;

(b)to form a rational judgment;

(c)to exercise self-control.

(1B)For the purposes of subsection (1)(c), an abnormality of mental functioning provides an explanation for D's conduct if it causes, or is a significant contributory factor in causing, D to carry out that conduct.

(1C)Where, but for this section, D would be liable, whether as principal or as accessory, to be convicted of murder, D is liable instead to be convicted of manslaughter.

(3)In subsection (2), for “subsection (1)” substitute “ subsection (1C) ”.

(4)In subsections (4) and (5), for “mental abnormality” substitute “ abnormality of mental functioning ”.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I2S. 53 in force at 1.6.2011 for N.I. by S.R. 2011/182, art. 3(a)

Partial defence to murder: loss of controlE+W+N.I.

54Partial defence to murder: loss of controlE+W+N.I.

(1)Where a person (“D”) kills or is a party to the killing of another (“V”), D is not to be convicted of murder if—

(a)D's acts and omissions in doing or being a party to the killing resulted from D's loss of self-control,

(b)the loss of self-control had a qualifying trigger, and

(c)a person of D's sex and age, with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint and in the circumstances of D, might have reacted in the same or in a similar way to D.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(a), it does not matter whether or not the loss of control was sudden.

(3)In subsection (1)(c) the reference to “the circumstances of D” is a reference to all of D's circumstances other than those whose only relevance to D's conduct is that they bear on D's general capacity for tolerance or self-restraint.

(4)Subsection (1) does not apply if, in doing or being a party to the killing, D acted in a considered desire for revenge.

(5)On a charge of murder, if sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue with respect to the defence under subsection (1), the jury must assume that the defence is satisfied unless the prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that it is not.

(6)For the purposes of subsection (5), sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue with respect to the defence if evidence is adduced on which, in the opinion of the trial judge, a jury, properly directed, could reasonably conclude that the defence might apply.

(7)A person who, but for this section, would be liable to be convicted of murder is liable instead to be convicted of manslaughter.

(8)The fact that one party to a killing is by virtue of this section not liable to be convicted of murder does not affect the question whether the killing amounted to murder in the case of any other party to it.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I3S. 54 in force at 4.10.2010 for E.W. by S.I. 2010/816, art. 6(a)

I4S. 54 in force at 1.6.2011 for N.I. by S.R. 2011/182, art. 3(b)

55Meaning of “qualifying trigger”E+W+N.I.

(1)This section applies for the purposes of section 54.

(2)A loss of self-control had a qualifying trigger if subsection (3), (4) or (5) applies.

(3)This subsection applies if D's loss of self-control was attributable to D's fear of serious violence from V against D or another identified person.

(4)This subsection applies if D's loss of self-control was attributable to a thing or things done or said (or both) which—

(a)constituted circumstances of an extremely grave character, and

(b)caused D to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged.

(5)This subsection applies if D's loss of self-control was attributable to a combination of the matters mentioned in subsections (3) and (4).

(6)In determining whether a loss of self-control had a qualifying trigger—

(a)D's fear of serious violence is to be disregarded to the extent that it was caused by a thing which D incited to be done or said for the purpose of providing an excuse to use violence;

(b)a sense of being seriously wronged by a thing done or said is not justifiable if D incited the thing to be done or said for the purpose of providing an excuse to use violence;

(c)the fact that a thing done or said constituted sexual infidelity is to be disregarded.

(7)In this section references to “D” and “V” are to be construed in accordance with section 54.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I5S. 55 in force at 4.10.2010 for E.W. by S.I. 2010/816, art. 6(a)

I6S. 55 in force at 1.6.2011 for N.I. by S.R. 2011/182, art. 3(b)

56Abolition of common law defence of provocationE+W+N.I.

(1)The common law defence of provocation is abolished and replaced by sections 54 and 55.

(2)Accordingly, the following provisions cease to have effect—

(a)section 3 of the Homicide Act 1957 (c. 11) (questions of provocation to be left to the jury);

(b)section 7 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 (c. 20) (questions of provocation to be left to the jury).

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I7S. 56(1) in force at 4.10.2010 for E.W. by S.I. 2010/816, art. 6(b)

I8S. 56(1)(2)(b) in force at 1.6.2011 for N.I. by S.R. 2011/182, art. 3(c)

I9S. 56(2)(a) in force at 4.10.2010 by S.I. 2010/816, art. 5(b)

InfanticideE+W

57Infanticide (England and Wales)E+W

(1)Section 1 of the Infanticide Act 1938 (c. 36) (offence of infanticide) is amended as follows.

(2)In subsection (1)—

(a)for “notwithstanding that” substitute “ if ”, and

(b)after “murder” insert “ or manslaughter ”.

(3)In subsection (2)—

(a)for “notwithstanding that” substitute “ if ”, and

(b)after “murder” insert “ or manslaughter ”.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I10S. 57 in force at 4.10.2010 by S.I. 2010/816, art. 5(c)

58Infanticide (Northern Ireland)E+W

(1)Section 1 of the Infanticide Act (Northern Ireland) 1939 (c. 5) (offence of infanticide) is amended as follows.

(2)In subsection (1)—

(a)for “notwithstanding that” substitute “ if ”, and

(b)after “murder” insert “ or manslaughter ”.

(3)In subsection (2)—

(a)for “notwithstanding that” substitute “ if ”, and

(b)after “murder” insert “ or manslaughter ”.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I11S. 58 in force at 1.6.2011 for N.I. by S.R. 2011/182, art. 3(e)

SuicideE+W+N.I.

59Encouraging or assisting suicide (England and Wales)E+W

(1)The Suicide Act 1961 (c. 60) is amended as follows.

(2)In section 2 (criminal liability for complicity in another's suicide), for subsection (1) substitute—

(1)A person (“D”) commits an offence if—

(a)D does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person, and

(b)D's act was intended to encourage or assist suicide or an attempt at suicide.

(1A)The person referred to in subsection (1)(a) need not be a specific person (or class of persons) known to, or identified by, D.

(1B)D may commit an offence under this section whether or not a suicide, or an attempt at suicide, occurs.

(1C)An offence under this section is triable on indictment and a person convicted of such an offence is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(3)In subsection (2) of that section, for “it” to the end substitute “ of a person it is proved that the deceased person committed suicide, and the accused committed an offence under subsection (1) in relation to that suicide, the jury may find the accused guilty of the offence under subsection (1). ”

(4)After that section insert—

2AActs capable of encouraging or assisting

(1)If D arranges for a person (“D2”) to do an act that is capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person and D2 does that act, D is also to be treated for the purposes of this Act as having done it.

(2)Where the facts are such that an act is not capable of encouraging or assisting suicide or attempted suicide, for the purposes of this Act it is to be treated as so capable if the act would have been so capable had the facts been as D believed them to be at the time of the act or had subsequent events happened in the manner D believed they would happen (or both).

(3)A reference in this Act to a person (“P”) doing an act that is capable of encouraging the suicide or attempted suicide of another person includes a reference to P doing so by threatening another person or otherwise putting pressure on another person to commit or attempt suicide.

2BCourse of conduct

A reference in this Act to an act includes a reference to a course of conduct, and a reference to doing an act is to be read accordingly.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I12S. 59 in force at 1.2.2010 by S.I. 2010/145, art. 2(2), Sch. para. 2

60Encouraging or assisting suicide (Northern Ireland)E+W

(1)The Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 (c. 20) is amended as follows.

(2)In section 13 (criminal liability for complicity in another's suicide), for subsection (1) substitute—

(1)A person (“D”) commits an offence if—

(a)D does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person, and

(b)D's act was intended to encourage or assist suicide or an attempt at suicide.

(1A)The person referred to in subsection (1)(a) need not be a specific person (or class of persons) known to, or identified by, D.

(1B)D may commit an offence under this section whether or not a suicide, or an attempt at suicide, occurs.

(1C)An offence under this section is triable on indictment and a person convicted of such an offence is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(3)In subsection (2) of that section, for “it” to the end substitute “ of a person it is proved that the deceased person committed suicide, and the person charged committed an offence under subsection (1) in relation to that suicide, the jury may find the person charged guilty of the offence under subsection (1). ”

(4)After that section insert—

13AActs capable of encouraging or assisting

(1)If D arranges for a person (“D2”) to do an act that is capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person and D2 does that act, D is also to be treated for the purposes of section 13 as having done it.

(2)Where the facts are such that an act is not capable of encouraging or assisting suicide or attempted suicide, for the purposes of section 13 and this section it is to be treated as so capable if the act would have been so capable had the facts been as D believed them to be at the time of the act or had subsequent events happened in the manner D believed they would happen (or both).

(3)A reference in section 13 or this section to a person (“P”) doing an act that is capable of encouraging the suicide or attempted suicide of another person includes a reference to P doing so by threatening another person or otherwise putting pressure on another person to commit or attempt suicide.

13BCourse of conduct

A reference in section 13 or 13A to an act includes a reference to a course of conduct, and a reference to doing an act is to be read accordingly.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I13S. 60 in force at 1.2.2010 by S.I. 2010/145, art. 2(2), Sch. para. 3

61Encouraging or assisting suicide: information society servicesE+W+N.I.

Schedule 12 makes special provision in connection with the operation of section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 (c. 60) and section 13 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 (c. 20) in relation to persons providing information society services within the meaning of that Schedule.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
Close

Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I14S. 61 in force at 1.2.2010 by S.I. 2010/145, art. 2(2), Sch. para. 4

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act without Schedules

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act without Schedules as a PDF

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act without Schedules

The Whole Act without Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open Schedules only

The Schedules you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Impact Assessments

Impact Assessments generally accompany all UK Government interventions of a regulatory nature that affect the private sector, civil society organisations and public services. They apply regardless of whether the regulation originates from a domestic or international source and can accompany primary (Acts etc) and secondary legislation (SIs). An Impact Assessment allows those with an interest in the policy area to understand:

  • Why the government is proposing to intervene;
  • The main options the government is considering, and which one is preferred;
  • How and to what extent new policies may impact on them; and,
  • The estimated costs and benefits of proposed measures.
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources