Criminal Liability

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 15th April 2021.

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Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the recommendation made by the Law Commission as part of its project on Insanity and automatism in 2013, what steps the Government is taking to bring forward legislative proposals to replace the common law defence of insanity with a new defence of being not criminally responsible by reason of recognised medical condition.

Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the common law defence of insanity; and what steps the Government plans to take to improve the law on criminal insanity.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Government has considered the proposals in the Law Commission’s 2013 discussion paper.

Whilst we note the Law Commission’s proposals on the potential to update the law in this area, we have no current plans to bring forward legislative proposals in relation to this rarely used defence. However, we continue to keep this, and the wider and related law on unfitness to plead, under review.

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