New South Wales Consolidated Acts
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CRIMES ACT 1900 - SECT 23A
Substantial impairment because of mental health impairment or cognitive impairment
(1) A person who would otherwise be guilty of murder is not to be convicted of
(a) at the time of the acts or omissions causing the death
concerned, the person's capacity to understand events, or to judge whether the
person's actions were right or wrong, or to control himself or herself, was
substantially impaired by a mental health impairment or a
cognitive impairment, and
(b) the impairment was so substantial as to warrant
liability for murder being reduced to manslaughter.
(2) For the purposes of
subsection (1) (b), evidence of an opinion that an impairment was so
substantial as to warrant liability for murder being reduced to manslaughter
is not admissible.
(3) If a person was intoxicated at the time of the acts or
omissions causing the death concerned, and the intoxication was self-induced
intoxication (within the meaning of section 428A), the effects of that
self-induced intoxication are to be disregarded for the purpose of determining
whether the person is not liable to be convicted of murder by virtue of this
(4) The onus is on the person accused to prove that he or she is not
liable to be convicted of murder by virtue of this section.
(5) A person who
but for this section would be liable, whether as principal or accessory, to be
convicted of murder is to be convicted of manslaughter instead.
(6) The fact
that a person is not liable to be convicted of murder in respect of a death by
virtue of this section does not affect the question of whether any other
person is liable to be convicted of murder in respect of that death.
on the trial of a person for murder, the person contends--
(a) that the person
is entitled to be acquitted on the ground that the person was not criminally
responsible because of mental health impairment or cognitive impairment, or
(b) that the person is not liable to be convicted of murder by virtue of this
section, evidence may be offered by the prosecution tending to prove the other
of those contentions, and the Court may give directions as to the stage of the
proceedings at which that evidence may be offered.
(8) For the purposes of
this section, a
"person has a cognitive impairment" if--
(a) the person has an ongoing
impairment in adaptive functioning, and
(b) the person has an ongoing
impairment in comprehension, reason, judgment, learning or memory, and
the impairments result from damage to or dysfunction, developmental delay or
deterioration of the person's brain or mind that may arise from a condition
set out in subsection (9) or for other reasons.
(9) A cognitive impairment
may arise from any of the following conditions but may also arise for other
(a) intellectual disability,
(b) borderline intellectual
(d) an acquired brain injury,
(e) drug or
alcohol related brain damage, including foetal alcohol spectrum disorder,
autism spectrum disorder.
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