Automatism and Insanity in the Laws of England and Scotland

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This article examines the nature and scope of the defence of automatism in the criminal laws of England and Scotland and seeks to demonstrate how the defence has developed as a result of an over-reliance on the concept of insanity as defined in each system. It will be shown that this has led to the inappropriate application of legal concepts to persons suffering from certain medical conditions with unforeseen and undesirable results, both for the law and for those afflicted. Finally, comment is made on recent developments which have led to uncertainty about the future of the defence in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-65
JournalJuridical Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995


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