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involuntary conduct


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Conduct that cannot be controlled because one is suffering from a physical or mental condition or is acting under duress. Involuntary conduct will sometimes give rise to a defence of insanity or non-insane automatism, although it may not be a defence if one is aware of one's condition or induced it oneself. Sometimes conduct may be regarded as involuntary if one is in control of one's faculties; for example, when the brakes of a car suddenly fail; this will also afford a defence to a driving offence charge (Hill v Baxter [1958] 1 QB 277).

Subjects: Law.


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