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The most serious offence, murder is defined as the unlawful killing of another human being by a person of sound mind, who does so with intent, aforethought (prior intent/ premeditation), and who has no legal authority or excuse to do so.

The difference between murder and manslaughter relies on the principle of degrees of blameworthiness for unlawful killing. Therefore, manslaughter has two degrees of blameworthiness - voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

Voluntary manslaughter refers to an intentional killing that is accompanied by mitigating factors. These factors are generally lack of premeditation and provocation, which causes rage or anger; however, there are other factors that may apply. An example of this would be a person who is provoked to rage in an argument, to such an extent that they immediately lash out at the victim, killing them in the heat of the moment.

Involuntary manslaughter refers to an unlawful killing without intent – usually, where death is caused by negligence or recklessness. An example of this would be a passenger in a car who is killed due to the driver’s reckless driving behaviour.

This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.


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