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Criminal Law
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Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 CPD point (60 minutes)
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Regulated by the Bar Standards Board:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 accredited CPD point (60 minutes)

Regulated by ILEX:
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  • FREE
30 minutes of audio
(+ optional 5 minute online quiz)
Plays on Computer:
Yes Downloadable as MP3:    Yes
Course Aims:

This podcast is suitable for those interested in criminal law and procedure. It aims to familiarise the listener with the current law and procedure in criminal investigations and at trial when the defendant suffers from mental illness or is in some other way deemed 'vulnerable'.

It addresses the relationship between mental illness and crimes of specific and basic intent and the law and procedure to determine whether the accused is fit to plead.

After completing the course you will:
  • Understand the definition of 'mental illness' within the context of the criminal law;
  • Have been reminded of the procedure for assessing the defendant's fitness to plead;
  • Know what provision needs to be made for a mentally ill or vulnerable defendant at trial and at a police station;
  • Understand the relationship between mental illness and offences of basic and specific intent;
  • Know the differences and features of the defences of insanity and diminished responsibility.
Complex Difficulty: 4 of 5
Case Update
Legal Principles
Sources and References:
  • Mental Health Act 1983;
  • Mental Health Act 2007;
  • Practice Direction (Criminal Proceedings: Consolidation) para 111.30 (as inserted by Practice Direction (Criminal Proceedings: Further Direction) [2007] 1 W.L.R. 1790;
  • Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999;
  • Home Office Circular 66/90 (Provision for Mentally Disordered Offenders);
  • Code for Crown Prosecutors (2004);
  • R (on application of B) v Director of Public Prosecutions, Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening [2009] EWHC 106 (Admin);
  • Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Code C , Annex E, Annex G;
  • Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964;
  • Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004;
  • R v Pritchard (1836) 7 C & P 303;
  • R v Hodgson [2009] All ER (D) 182;
  • R v Podola 43 Cr App R 220;
  • R v H [2003] 2 Cr App R 25;
  • R v Antoine [2001] 1 AC 340;
  • R v G [2004] 1 AC 1034;
  • R v Cunningham [1057] 2 QB 396;
  • Trial of Lunatics Act 1883;
  • McNaghten’s Case 1843 10 Cl. & Fin. 200;
  • R v Johnson [2007] EWCA Crim 1978;
  • R v Quick [1973] QB 910;
  • R v Bailey 77 Cr App R 76;
  • R v Sullivan [1984] A.C. 156;
  • R v Byrne [1960] 2 QB 396;
  • R v Gomez 48 Cr App R 310;
  • R v Lloyd [1967] 1 QB 175;
  • R v Diamond [2008] EWCA Crim 923;
  • R v Moyle [2008] EWCA Crim 3059.

This podcast looks at how the criminal law treats those who are charged with an offence but who suffer from some form of mental impairment or illness.

Podcast added: 05/05/09

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