High Court of Australia

Swan v The Queen [2020] HCA 11

18 Mar 2020

Case Number: S291/2019

Before

BELL, KEANE, NETTLE, GORDON, EDELMAN JJ

Catchwords

Criminal law – Murder – Causation – Where appellant's assault caused serious injury to victim – Where victim suffered severe deterioration in quality of life as a consequence of assault – Where victim later suffered fractured femur requiring surgery – Where decision made not to undergo possible life-saving surgery – Whether sufficient evidence for it to be open to jury to convict on basis that low quality of life resulting from assault caused decision not to undergo surgery – Whether appellant's conduct a "substantial or significant cause of death" – Whether appellant legally responsible for death.

Words and phrases – "but for", "causation", "legal responsibility", "murder", "substantial or significant", "sufficiently substantial".

Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) – s 18(1)(a).
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