Reforming English homicide law: fair labelling questions and comparative answers

Matthew Gibson, Alan Reed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Domestic criminal lawyers have become accustomed to the often slow pace of reform in their discipline. In the context of English homicide law, this pace has stalled completely following the Law Commission's 2006 publication of recommendations for a new 'ladder' of homicide offences. In homicide literature, the expression 'fair labelling' has become a familiar rhetorical device – it is regularly invoked to support normative claims regarding how best to define murder and involuntary manslaughter. The main crimes under involuntary manslaughter are unlawful act manslaughter (UAM), gross negligence manslaughter (GNM) and reckless manslaughter (RM). Inculpation for reckless manslaughter has been affirmed where the individual actor is subjectively reckless in consciously adverting to the risk of serious injury. The English Law Commission in their final report on homicide law reform recommended the adoption of a three-tier structure of general homicide offences to replace the extant bifurcation of 'murder' and 'manslaughter'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHomicide in Criminal Law
Subtitle of host publicationA Research Companion
EditorsAlan Reed, Michael Bohlander, Nicola Wake, Emma Engleby, Verity Adams
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781351016315
ISBN (Print)9781138498419, 9780367586577
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2018

Publication series

NameSubstantive Issues in Criminal Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Reforming English homicide law: fair labelling questions and comparative answers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this