Regina v Seers: CACD 1984

Assessing Degree of Impairment

The court considered whether the defendant’s depression could amount to an impairment.
Griffiths LJ said: ‘It is to be remembered that in Byrne . . all the doctors agreed that Byrne could be described as partially insane; he was a sexual psychopath who had hideously mutilated a young woman he had killed. In such a case the evidence justifies inviting a jury to determine the degree of impairment of mental responsibility by a test of partial insanity. But it is not a legitimate method of construing an Act of Parliament to substitute for the words of the Act an entirely different phrase and to say that it is to apply in all circumstances. We are sure that this was not the intention of the court in Byrne . . and the phrase was used as one way of assisting the jury to determine the degree of impairment of mental responsibility in an appropriate case, and no doubt to point out that Parliament by the use of the word ‘substantial’ was indicating a serious degree of impairment of mental responsibility.’

Griffiths LJ
(1984) 79 Cr App R 261
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedGolds, Regina v SC 30-Nov-2016
The defendant appealed against his conviction for murder, saying that he should have been only convicted of manslaughter, applying the new test for diminished responsibility as provided under the 1957 Act as amended, and particularly whether the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 20 November 2021; Ref: scu.631425