Discuss the nature of the defence of mistake

The defence of mistake is a general defence to a criminal charge. The defence developed under the common law and has long been recognised under our criminal law.

Grade: A-C | £3.99.

This essay discusses a range of issues in the context of the defence of mistake.

The various issues discussed are as follows:

  • the nature of general defences as compared to 'special defences' under the Homicide Act 1957;
  • the defences of intoxication, duress, necessity and consent are also mentioned;
  • mistakes of fact and not mistakes of the law;
  • examples of what might amount to a genuine mistake are given;
  • cases include DPP v Morgan (1976) , Williams (Gladstone) (1987)  and B v DPP (2000), Lipman (1970), O'Grady (1987), Jaggard v Dickinson (1981) and finally Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Storkwain (1986).



(Word count 1274)


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