Abbott v The Queen: PC 20 Jul 1976

The appellant was charged as a principal in the first degree, and the issue was whether the defence of duress was available. The Board considered the availability of duress as a defence to a criminal charge.
Held: The defence was not open to the defendant (Lord Wilberforce and Lord Edmund-Davies dissenting). The Court was bound to ‘loyally’ accept the decision in Lynch, but that it was not an authority which required extension of the doctrine of duress to such a case. Having regard to the doubts expressed in the speeches of the majority as to the applicability of their reasoning to persons who actually carry out killings, combined with the dissenting speeches, it was considered that a majority of the House in Lynch had to be seen as being of the opinion that it should not be extended.


Lord Hailsham, Lord Kilbrandon, Lord Salmon, Lord Wilberforce and Lord Edmund-Davies


[1976] CLY 513, [1977] AC 755, [1976] 3 All ER 140, [1976] UKPC 19





Cited by:

AppliedRegina v Howe etc HL 19-Feb-1986
The defendants appealed against their convictions for murder, saying that their defences of duress had been wrongly disallowed.
Held: Duress is not a defence available on a charge of murder. When a defence of duress is raised, the test is . .
CitedIn Re A (Minors) (Conjoined Twins: Medical Treatment); aka In re A (Children) (Conjoined Twins: Surgical Separation) CA 22-Sep-2000
Twins were conjoined (Siamese). Medically, both could not survive, and one was dependent upon the vital organs of the other. Doctors applied for permission to separate the twins which would be followed by the inevitable death of one of them. The . .
See AlsoAbbott v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago and Others PC 12-Jun-1979
Trinidad and Tobago . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.192056