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LAWS101 (12)
Lecture 16

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Donna Buckingham

01/05 Lecture 16: The Interpretation Act – past and future 2 Culpable Homicide:  In New Zealand homicide is the killing of one human being by another human being.  Murder requires proof of premeditated intent (s 167, s168) has a life sentence.  Manslaughter is an unlawful act which results in death, without intent for the other to die: (s 171) has a sentence of non- custodial, to life. Allows the judge much more leeway in looking at the background and situation, in order to administer a punishment which is proportional to the crime.  Exception to this is infanticide (s 178), which has a 3 year maximum penalty. Where a woman causes the death to a child of hers, and that at the time her mind was not her own in one of three ways:  Stress of childbirth or lactation    INTERPRETIVE FACTORS:  Legislative history  Social attitudes: slightly less heinous crime for several reasons.  Other jurisdictions (UK): look at legislation surrounding the same topic- the Judge does this here.  Royal Commission Report  Legislative future (the Crimes Bill)  Other statutes on analogous subjects  Section 5(j) Acts Interpretation Act 1924  In the days that illegitimate children were regarded as “fillius nullus”, infanticide was not considered by society to be nearly as bad as the murder of an adult by another adult.  Influenced by the law in UK  In 1961, Infanticide was introduced to NZ jurisdiction, with a broader view than the UK version (up to the age of 10, not 1 year), and at the same time we rid murder of the death penalty.  Public revulsion at the conviction of a mother for the death of her child. Children died quite often, due to illness, injury, accidents etc. something which has become much less common these days.  There are now considerable expressions of unease that we should still have infanticide when we know that childbirth puts much stress on a mother and there is often mental illness surrounding this period. CRIMES ACT 1961 178 Infanticide- (1) Where a woman causes the death of any child of hers under the age of 10 years in a manner that amounts to culpable homicide, and at the time of the of
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