High Court of Australia

Burns v The Queen [2012] HCA 35

246 CLR 334; 86 ALJR 1097; 290 ALR 713

14 Sep 2012

Case Number: S46/2012

Before

French CJ, Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ

Catchwords

Criminal law – Manslaughter by unlawful and dangerous act – Appellant party to joint enterprise to supply methadone to deceased – Deceased died from combined effect of methadone and prescription drug – Whether appellant's supply of prohibited drug to deceased unlawful and dangerous act – Whether sufficient evidence to warrant order for new trial on basis that appellant administered or assisted in administering drug to deceased.

Criminal law – Manslaughter by criminal negligence – Appellant party to joint enterprise to supply methadone to deceased – Deceased suffered adverse reaction to drugs in appellant's presence – Appellant failed to obtain medical treatment for deceased – Whether appellant under legal duty to take steps to preserve deceased's life.

Words and phrases – "legal duty", "omission", "supplier of prohibited drug", "unlawful and dangerous act".
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