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March 17, 2020

Public Liability Claims and the Civil Liability Act


Before speaking with police you should consult a criminal defence lawyer for legal advice. Our criminal defence lawyers have over 25 years of combined experience and have dealt with many high profile homicide cases.

In Western Australia, the criminal law that governs homicide related matters is the Criminal Code 1913. Homicide means causing the death of another person either directly or indirectly and by any means. Homicide related charges are very serious and often carry a lengthy sentence including life imprisonment therefore it is imperative you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of a crime which according to the circumstances of the case may be murder or manslaughter. However other homicide related charges exist including:

  • Causing death by threat;
  • Death from grievous bodily harm;
  • Unlawful assault causing death;
  • Attempt to unlawfully kill;
  • Culpable driving (not of a motor vehicle) causing death;
  • Dangerous driving (of a motor vehicle) causing death;
  • Careless driving causing death; or
  • Attempted murder.


Murder means a person unlawfully kills another person where:

  • the person intends to cause the death of the person killed or another person; or
  • the person intends to cause bodily injury of such a nature as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, the life of the person killed or another person; or
  • the death is caused by means of an act done in the prosecution of an unlawful purpose, which act is of such a nature as to be likely to endanger human life.

Conviction for murder usually leads to a sentence of life imprisonment.


Manslaughter means unlawfully killing another person under such circumstances as not to constitute murder. Manslaughter covers a very broad range of scenarios and therefore can lead to a wide range of sentences. Every manslaughter case must be considered on its own facts.


The following defences may be applicable to charges of both murder and manslaughter:

  • self-defence or defence of another;
  • accident;
  • provocation;
  • insanity; or
  • the accused was not involved in the offence or was forced to commit the offence against his/her will by another.

If you are facing a homicide related charge and need advice on how to proceed, contact D.G. Price & Co.


With respect to murder charges it is unlikely that bail will be granted unless there are exceptional reasons why the accused should not be held in custody. D.G. Price & Co. can provide you with advice on how to proceed with an application for bail.