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The meaning of ‘‘intoxication’’ In Australian criminal cases: Origins and operation

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Although alcohol and drug use features prominently in many areas of criminal

    offending, there has been limited investigation of how the effects of alcohol and

    other drugs are treated by criminal laws and the criminal justice system. This

    article examines the framing of judicial inquiries about ‘‘intoxication’’ in

    criminal cases in Australia. It illustrates the diverse types of evidence that may

    (or may not) be available to judges and juries when faced with the task of

    determining whether a person was relevantly ‘‘intoxicated.’’ It shows that in the

    absence of legislative guidance on how the task should be approached, courts

    tend to assign only a relatively marginal role to medical and scientific expert

    evidence, and frame the question as one that can be answered by applying

    common knowledge about the effects of alcohol and other drugs. The article

    examines the adequacy of this approach, given the weak foundation for

    assuming that the relationship between intoxication and the complex cognitive

    processes on which tribunals of fact are often required to reach conclusions (such

    as intent formation) is within the lay knowledge held by jurors and judges.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • J. Quilter & L. McNamara, 'The meaning of ‘‘intoxication’’ In Australian criminal cases: Origins and operation' (2018) 21 (1) New Criminal Law Review: an international and interdisciplinary journal 170-207.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4360&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/3345

Number Of Pages


  • 37

Start Page


  • 170

End Page


  • 207

Volume


  • 21

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Although alcohol and drug use features prominently in many areas of criminal

    offending, there has been limited investigation of how the effects of alcohol and

    other drugs are treated by criminal laws and the criminal justice system. This

    article examines the framing of judicial inquiries about ‘‘intoxication’’ in

    criminal cases in Australia. It illustrates the diverse types of evidence that may

    (or may not) be available to judges and juries when faced with the task of

    determining whether a person was relevantly ‘‘intoxicated.’’ It shows that in the

    absence of legislative guidance on how the task should be approached, courts

    tend to assign only a relatively marginal role to medical and scientific expert

    evidence, and frame the question as one that can be answered by applying

    common knowledge about the effects of alcohol and other drugs. The article

    examines the adequacy of this approach, given the weak foundation for

    assuming that the relationship between intoxication and the complex cognitive

    processes on which tribunals of fact are often required to reach conclusions (such

    as intent formation) is within the lay knowledge held by jurors and judges.

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • J. Quilter & L. McNamara, 'The meaning of ‘‘intoxication’’ In Australian criminal cases: Origins and operation' (2018) 21 (1) New Criminal Law Review: an international and interdisciplinary journal 170-207.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4360&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/3345

Number Of Pages


  • 37

Start Page


  • 170

End Page


  • 207

Volume


  • 21

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • United States