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Common defences used in murder cases from our criminal solicitor
07 Nov 2022

When it comes to murder cases in the UK, there are a few common defences that are used by defendants. These defences can vary in their success, depending on the specific case and the evidence that is presented. Some of the more common defences include self-defence, provocation, diminished responsibility, and insanity. Each of these has its strengths and weaknesses, which must be considered when deciding which defence to use in a particular case. But, when you are accused of committing murder, you will need help, which is where our team comes in.

At ABV Solicitors, our criminal solicitor is always happy and eager to work with those who have been accused of murder. We know that there are many instances in which people may be caught up in things that spiral, and we are dedicated to representing your best interests in court.

But what are some of the common defences against a murder conviction that are used in the UK? Our criminal solicitor explains below.


According to our criminal solicitor, in the UK, self-defence can be used as a complete defence or as a partial defence.

Self-defence can be used as a complete defence if the accused can prove that they were acting in self-defence and that they had no other choice. This is a very difficult thing to do, as the accused must show that they were not the aggressor and that they had no reasonable alternative but to use force.

If self-defence is used as a partial defence, this means that the accused was not completely innocent. They may have been the aggressor or they may have had other choices available to them, but they still had to act in self-defence to avoid serious harm or death. This is a much easier defence to prove, as the accused only needs to show that their actions were reasonable in the circumstances.

Self-defence is often a controversial topic, as it can be difficult to determine whether someone was acting in self-defence or not. However, it is an important part of our legal system and it can protect those who need it most.


‘Provocation murder’ is a legal term in the United Kingdom referring to a special defence in murder cases. The defence can be used where the defendant can show that they were provoked into killing the victim and that they did not intend to kill them

Several factors can be taken into account when deciding whether or not provocation has been proved. These include the severity of the provocation, the length of time between the provocation and the killing, and whether or not the defendant reacted immediately to the provocation. If the defendant waited any length of time before killing the victim, this is likely to suggest that they were not provoked into doing so.

Diminished responsibility

This is a defence that is available to those who are found to have a mental disorder that substantially reduces their ability to understand what they were doing or to control their actions. This disorder can be due to a mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, or brain damage.

To be successful with a diminished responsibility defence, the defendant must show that they had a mental illness at the time of the offence and that this illness caused them to act in a way that was not consistent with how a reasonable person would have acted. They must also show that they suffered from significant impairment as a result of this mental illness. Finally, they must show that their mental illness was the main reason for their actions.

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