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Insanity as a Defence

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Insanity?       A very exceptional defence.

Part 3 of our Crimes Act 1961, from Sections 20 to 25 and 48 to 65, with some exceptions, deal with defences to criminal acts.

An obvious defence is self defence and you may visit our Index Site entitled  Self defence  in relation to that defence.

The defence of insanity is a very interesting defence but great care must be taken in receiving advice on this defence because you must think very carefully as to what result you wish to achieve at the end of the day.   

The defence of insanity is discussed on this Index Site in the context that you may wish to plead not guilty on the grounds of insanity.

This defence is one of the rare cases where the onus or burden of proof changes to you to prove that you were insane at the time of the offence. If you do prove this by producing doctors to say that you were insane at the time of the offence then you can be found not guilty on the grounds of insanity.

However, you must realise that you do not necessarily walk free once such a finding of not guilty has been made.

The Court then has the power to determine what should be done with you and, in serious cases such as murder, you would usually be detained as a special patient under the provisions of our mental health legislation.

Mental Health

Insanity as a Defence

Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003

The Intellectual Disability Compulsory Treatment and Rehabilitation Act 2003 links to the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003 which gives the Court powers to order i

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