Gross Negligence Manslaughter Revisited: Time for a Change of Direction?

Catherine Crosby

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This article postulates that the House of Lords took a wrong turn in Adomako, missing the opportunity to revise the Caldwell/Lawrence guidance on recklessness, to produce a more appropriate determinant of criminal liability for inadvertent conduct causing death. It will be advocated that gross negligence manslaughter is replaced with reckless manslaughter utilising an objective capacity–based test. A proposal that encompasses both acts and omissions will be advanced which is theoretically underpinned by a hybrid theory of culpability. It will be contended that this hybrid theory best represents current approaches to criminally reckless conduct in practice and produces a morally apposite method of ascertaining criminal responsibility where the risk of death was not foreseen.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)228-245
Number of pages18
JournalThe Journal of Criminal Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


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