12. Qualification of Negligent Homicide in the Practice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania
Keywords:Criminal liability, negligent deprivation of life, murder, negligence, specific intent, general intent, violation of road traffic regulations.
The article analyses some issues regarding the qualification of negligent deprivation of life pertaining to the distinction of negligent deprivation of life from murder and accident. In both criminal law science and case law there is no unanimous opinion about the distinction between negligent deprivation of life (as a crime) and an accident (Latin: casus). In court practice a number of problems arise when negligent deprivation of life must be distinguished from intentional deprivation of life, i.e. murder. The case law is also changing in this regard. For a long time, the violation of road traffic regulations that have caused the victim's death, irrespective of the nature of the violation of the regulations, was regarded as negligent deprivation of life and a special article of criminal law providing for criminal liability for violation of road traffic regulations was applied. Recently this view is undergoing a change and in those cases where a victim dies due to grossly violent intentional breach of road traffic regulations in judicial practice are being classified as murder.
In this study authors examine the most relevant case law, which deals with the distinction of negligent deprivation of life from murder and accident, of the Supreme Court of Lithuania. The study was conducted in order to identify the main issues of interpretation and application of criminal norms for the liability of negligent deprivation of life, and to propose solutions for them.
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