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Criminal Law » Murder / Manslaughter » Manslaughter

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Manslaughter

The offence of manslaughter is committed where one person causes the death of another person, in particular circumstances. The maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment.

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Examples of manslaughter include:

  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Involuntary manslaughter by unlawful and dangerous act
  • Involuntary manslaughter by gross negligence

Involuntary manslaughter by gross negligence

Involuntary manslaughter by gross negligence is committed where a person causes the death of another person by way of a very high degree of negligence.

Involuntary manslaughter by unlawful and dangerous act

Involuntary manslaughter by unlawful and dangerous act is committed where a person causes the death of another person by an act that is both unlawful and dangerous. An example may be where death results as a consequence of an assault.

Sentence

The offence of manslaughter covers a wide range of conduct and criminality and as a consequence sentences do vary considerably. However, it is regarded as a very serious offence by the courts and a full-time custodial sentence is to be expected.