Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Publications

Project 17 - Manslaughter or dangerous driving causing death

Project No. 17

Commenced: 1969
Completed: 1970

The reference arose as a result of concerns expressed by the Chief Justice about the Crown’s policy of preferring manslaughter charges in prosecutions over fatal road accidents instead of using the alternative charge of negligent driving causing death under section 219A of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA), which was introduced in 1945 to create an intermediate offence that would involve a lesser degree of proof and a shorter term of imprisonment.

Terms of Reference

The reference arose as a result of concerns expressed by the Chief Justice about the Crown’s policy of preferring manslaughter charges in prosecutions over fatal road accidents instead of using the alternative charge of negligent driving causing death under section 219A of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA). Section 219A was introduced in 1945 to create an intermediate offence that would involve a lesser degree of proof and a shorter term of imprisonment.

Outcomes

The Criminal Code Amendment Act 1972 (WA) implemented the recommendations of the Committee by effecting the minor drafting amendments. The Road Traffic Act 1974 (WA) later repealed s 291A of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA) and provided for an offence of negligent driving causing death which could be dealt with either summarily or by way of indictment.

Last updated: 31-Jan-2017

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