The Not So Ordinary, Reasonable person or the man From Clapham Just Got Off the Bus

Australasian Law Teachers Association
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Australasian Law Teachers Association : Law and Public Policy: Taming the Unruly Horse?, 2007, pp. 1 - 25
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In Crime, Reason and History Alan Norrie argues that criminal law is neither rational nor principled, so that the extraordinary is as much the norm as the ordinary. 1 In a subsequent article, Norrie seeks to use the objective test in provocation to demonstrate his point. As Norrie states,2 this has led, in England, to the apparent but somewhat irrational recognition in law of a reasonable glue sniffer ,3 reasonable immature person 4 and a reasonable obsessive .5 It is possible to add others such as the reasonable battered woman 6 and reasonable depressive .7 In referring to the Australian High Court case of Stingel v R,8 Norrie further suggests that this case recognizes the existence of the reasonable erotomaniac .9 While we do not necessarily agree with Norrie s specific assertions regarding provocation we do agree that role of the reasonable or ordinary person in criminal law is both contentious and problematic.
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