The law relating to manslaughter by gross negligence was clarified in the case of R v Adomako (1994) where a four stage test, known as the Adomako Test, was outlined by the House of Lords. Before convicting a defendant of gross negligence manslaughter a jury has to be satisfied that:
(a) that there was the existence of a duty of care to the deceased;
(b) that there was a breach of that duty of care;
(c) that the breach of that duty of care caused (or significantly contributed) to the death of the victim; and
(d) that the breach of the duty of care “departed so far from accepted standards” as to be characterised as gross negligence, and therefore a crime.
The Government takes the view that the Adamako Test continues to provide effective and appropriate guidance in aiding the determination of gross negligence manslaughter cases. In allowing Dr Sellu’s appeal, the Court of Appeal did not call for the law to be changed, and the Government has no plans to reform the law in this area.
The overall statistics on manslaughter are available in the ‘Criminal Justice Statistics’ series at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-december-2015. Statistics are not separately captured on whether a case of manslaughter occurred as a result of gross negligence.