The term Manslaughter can be quite a tricky concept to explain within New Zealand law.
We will do our best to explain in one simple and a short opening paragraph.
We will then take you through the specific sections of the Crimes Act 1961 because you need to understand the legal concepts of homicide, culpable homicide and murder before you can understand the crime of manslaughter.
. . . . the short answer . . . .
Manslaughter it is often generalised as the act of one human killing another human by an unlawful act short of murder. In short, a homicide must be culpable in law to be an offence/crime. If it is culpable (blameworthy) then the crime is either murder or manslaughter.
So you must understand fully the definitions of murder first before you come to understand the concept and the crime of manslaughter.
. . . the long answer . . .
It is worthwhile getting your hands on the leading text book on criminal law in New Zealand known as Adams - Criminal Law. A Lawyer may let you read a copy in the waiting room or you might be able to pick up a second hand one from a student.
Let us take you through the steps to get to manslaughter. You must also visit are specialist topics site entitled –
THE SIMPLE STEPS
We take you through the following steps :
- Homicide is the killing of one person by another.
- For homicide to be a crime it must be culpable. ( blameworthy in law ).
- Culpable homicide is either murder or manslaughter.
- Murder has specific definitions under sections 167 and 168 of the Crimes Act. 1961
- Culpable homicide that is not murder is manslaughter.
Those are the five steps.
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