The court granted permission to appeal against a conviction for murder on grounds that related to the judge’s summing up in respect of provocation: ‘Although Holley is a decision of the Privy Council and Morgan Smith a decision of the House of Lords, neither side has suggested that the law of England and Wales is other than as set out in the majority opinion set out in the majority opinion delivered by Lord Nicholls in Holley and we have no difficulty in proceeding on that basis’ Leave having been given, the appeal itself was dismissed: The jury should have been told that the applicant’s disposition for violence, if that is what they found that he had, could not assist him on that question; it was irrelevant. The jury, by their verdict, following the directions the judge had given them were satisfied, assuming the other criteria for provocation were met, that the applicant’s behaviour was not excusable so as to reduce the offence of murder to manslaughter. It is impossible to conclude that their verdict would have been any different if they had been directed on the tighter test, as explained in Holley. Accordingly, on the two grounds on which we have granted leave, the appeal is dismissed.’
Scott Baker LJ, Gloster, Mettyear JJ
 EWCA Crim 1880
Homicide Act 1957 3
England and Wales
Not preferred – Regina v Smith (Morgan James) HL 27-Jul-2000
The defendant had sought to rely upon the defence of provocation. He had suffered serious clinical depression.
Held: When directing a jury on the law of provocation, it was no longer appropriate to direct the jury to disregard any particular . .
Preferred – Her Majestys Attorney General for Jersey v Holley PC 15-Jun-2005
(Jersey) The defendant appealed his conviction for murder, claiming a misdirection on the law of provocation. A chronic alcoholic, he had admitted killing his girlfriend with an axe. Nine law lords convened to seek to reconcile conflicting decisions . .
Cited – Regina (Director of Public Prosecutions) v Camplin HL 1978
The court considered the direction to be given as to the existence of provocation so as to reduce a charge of murder to one of manslaughter. The reasonable man in the definition should be one with the defendant’s mental condition. ‘The judge should . .
Cited – Rex v Kirkham 1837
In order to reduce Killing of a person to the crime of manslaughter, there must not only be sufficient provocation, but the jury must be satisfied that the fatal blow was given in consequence of that provocation. If A. had formed a deliberate design . .
Cited – Mancini v Director of Public Prosecutions HL 1942
There are exceptional cases to the rule in Woolmington for: ‘offences where onus of proof is specially dealt with by statute’. ‘There is no reason to repeat to the jury the warning as to reasonable doubt again and again, provided that the direction . .
Cited – Luc Thiet Thuan v The Queen PC 2-Apr-1996
(Hong Kong) On a trial for murder the defendant relied on the defences of diminished responsibility and provocation. Medical evidence showed the defendant suffered from brain damage and was prone to respond to minor provocation by losing his . .
Cited – Regina v Vye etc CACD 7-Apr-1993
Detailed guidance was given on good character directions, as to how and when they should be given, but: ‘Provided that the judge indicates to the jury the two respects in which good character may be relevant, ie credibility and propensity, this . .
Cited – Regina v Gray CACD 2004
The court gave guidance on appropriate good character directions where a defendant had old convictions. . .
Cited – Paria v The State PC 15-Apr-2003
PC (Trinidad and Tobago) The defendant appealed his conviction for an unprovoked serious assault after the judge had failed to give a propensity direction. . .
Cited – James, Regina v; Regina v Karimi CACD 25-Jan-2006
The defendants appealed their convictions for murder, saying that the court had not properly guided the jury on provocation. The court was faced with apparently conflicting decision of the House of Lords (Smith) and the Privy Council (Holley).
Updated: 24 January 2021; Ref: scu.228948