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Attorney General for Jersey v Holley [2005]

Facts

  • Before the Privy Council, the drunken defendant had used an axe to kill the victim following her revelation of adultery; the Attorney General for Jersey appealed

Issue

  • Could the mental characteristics of the defendant be taken into account when assessing loss of self-control objectively?

Decision

  • No

Reasoning

  • The Privy Council said that their decision applied equally to both the law of Jersey and the law of England and Wales
  • R v Smith [2000] was overruled, and does not apply to the new defence of self-control
  • Circumstances to be taken into account in section 54(1)(c) of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 do not include those which only explain the defendant’s lack of restraint, such as mental conditions
  • Note that Privy Council decisions are not binding, on persuasive due to the authority of the English Law Lords who give the judgments
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