Recent Question/Assignment

Answer 2 out of 4 questions. Mixture of problem and essay questions.
LG384 Criminal Law 1 2021/2022
Instructions: Answer TWO of the four options provided
Due Date: Thursday August 11th at 5pm, via submission link on LG384 Loop page
Word Count: 4,000 words max (including footnotes), i.e. 2,000 words per answer
Lateness Policy: Removal of flat 5% for each working day late
Guidance notes:
1. This is an individual assignment.
2. Your answer should be no more than 4,000 words. Marks will be deducted if your word count is significantly higher or lower than that.
3. Please submit the assignment in typewritten form using Times New Roman, font size 12, on
1.5-line spacing.
4. You should read widely before starting to write, but (subject to (5) below) your essay should be written using your own words.
5. You can quote from published sources, including textbooks, journal articles and case law. It is best practice not to quote overly long passages unless it is unavoidable.
6. The correct referencing style for this assignment is OSCOLA Ireland, see
7. Add a bibliography listing the legislation, cases, books and articles you have referred to when writing the assignment. These should be cited in the appropriate manner. This will not count towards the overall word count.
8. You MUST NOT use any material that is derived from websites such as Wikipedia or You will be penalised for any such references as reliance upon such material indicates a lack of sufficient background research and reading on the subject matter of this assignment.
Suzanne, who was a very diligent worker and took pride in being a team player in her office job, stayed late at work one day to finish some paperwork. She thought that she was alone in the office, but as she went to leave her co-worker Dave appeared from the shadows and locked the main door. Suzanne asked him what he was doing, told him that she wanted to leave, and walked towards the door. Dave told her that he was annoyed that she had used the last of the printing paper earlier in the day, that she was always doing things like that, that she was a selfish colleague, and that he had had enough of it. Suzanne told him that he was being ridiculous, that there was more paper due to be delivered the next day, and that this was not the time or the place to raise any work-related problems he might have with her. She told him that she was leaving and asked him to unlock the door. Dave refused and told her that she could not leave without apologising to him for being a “selfish cow”. He then pushed Suzanne onto the ground, and kneeled down beside her, trying to restrain her. Suzanne screamed out and tried to struggle against Dave. She reached out and grabbed the leg of a nearby chair, pulled the chair towards her, and made it fall on Dave’s head. He was dazed by this and distracted for a moment which allowed Suzanne to wriggle away from him. As Dave went to grab her again, Suzanne caught hold of a heavy paperweight from her own desk and struck Dave on the head with it. Dave fell in an unconscious heap, with blood streaming from his head, and Suzanne struck him twice more with the paperweight. Dave died as a result of the injuries to his head. Medical evidence suggested that although the first blow from the paperweight fractured his skull he was not dead at this point. The medical evidence further suggested that it was the second and third blows which caused extensive further injury and ultimately Dave’s death.
Suzanne has been charged with the murder of Dave. She asks for your advice as to any defence which she might raise and the likely outcome(s) of such a defence in her case. Advise Suzanne. You must make reference to any decided case-law, legislation or other relevant legal sources of note.
Sarah and her co-worker Tommy had been generally friendly with one another since they started to work together in the Ocean View Hotel two years ago. For the past six months, on the evidence of others working at the hotel, it seems that Tommy has been telling everyone that he is in love with Sarah, and trying to find ways to be on the same shift as her, to work closely with her, and to socialise with her after work. Sarah was not interested in Tommy romantically, and found his advances overwhelming. She told him that she just wanted to be friends, but she says that Tommy continued to text her at all hours of the day and night, to rearrange work schedules to be on shift with her, and that she had seen him once or twice outside her home late at night.
Early in the morning of November 5th 2020, Sarah and Tommy were finishing a shift working in the hotel bar. Sarah offered to drop Tommy home (this was overheard by a co-worker). However, on the way home Sarah drove her car down a narrow pier not far from the hotel, which is usually used only by fishermen for access to their boats. She drove straight through two barriers along the pier, and plunged the car into the water at the end of the pier. While Sarah herself managed to swim to safety, and was assisted by some local fishermen who called an ambulance, Tommy was unable to escape from the car and drowned.
The evidence is that when the car entered the water Sarah’s driver-side window was open, and Tommy’s passenger-side window was not. Sarah was also wearing only light clothing, despite the fact that it was very cold at the time. Sarah knew that Tommy could not swim, and indeed had a very serious fear of water – this had been the topic of a recent conversation among staff members at the hotel.
Sarah is charged with the murder of Tommy. She claims that she is not guilty of murder, that she did not intend to kill or seriously injure Tommy, and that she regrets his death.
Considering the mens rea of the offence of murder, discuss the likelihood of Sarah being found guilty of Tommy’s murder. Your answer must make reference to relevant legislation and caselaw and any other relevant sources of note.
Write a note on any TWO of the following defences to a criminal charge, with reference to relevant case-law and any other legal sources of note:
a) Automatism
b) Duress
c) Insanity
Discuss the case of DPP v Joel [2016] 2 IR 363; [2016] IECA 120 (Court of Appeal, 4th March 2016), explaining clearly the manner in which this case contributes to the development of Irish law on BOTH (a) the criminalisation of omissions and (b) the issue of causation.

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