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What Is Manslaughter?

What Is Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is a criminal offence that involves the killing of another person without the intention to cause death or serious harm. It is a less severe offence than murder, which involves an intention to cause death or serious harm. There are two types of manslaughter: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.


Voluntary manslaughter occurs when the defendant kills someone in the heat of the moment, due to a sudden and temporary loss of control, often referred to as a loss of self-control. For example, if a person comes home to find their partner in bed with someone else and kills their partner in a fit of rage, they may be charged with voluntary manslaughter instead of murder.


Involuntary manslaughter occurs when the defendant causes the death of another person through a negligent or reckless act, such as careless driving or an unlawful and dangerous act. For example, if a person is driving under the influence of alcohol and causes a fatal car accident, they may be charged with involuntary manslaughter.


You can learn more about this topic and relevant case law with our Criminal Law notes.

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