Attorney-General’s Reference (No 6 of 1980)

289 words (1 pages) Case Summary in Cases

07/03/18 Cases Reference this

Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our professional writers as a learning aid to help you with your studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

If you would like to view samples of the work produced by our academic writers please click here.

Attorney-General’s Reference (No 6 of 1980) [1981]


Crime – Assault – Consent – Fighting in a public place other than in the course of sport


The respondent and the complainant had an argument. They agreed to engage in a fist fight to settle the matter in a public street. The complainant was injured during the fight and the respondent was charged with assault under s 20 of the Offences Against a Person Act 1861.


The question put to the Attorney-General to consider under s 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972, was whether two people having a physical fight by way of consent, other than in sport, but in a public place, could use consent as a defence if the charge of assault arises. The Attorney-General found that consent was a valid defence, but not where the action involved unlawful activity that was contrary to the interests of the public.


Assault was defined as an act where a person intentionally or recklessly causes harm through unlawful violence. The Attorney-General opined that violence in a public place, other than in sport, amounted to a breach of the peace and was unlawful. To “unlawfully” wound a person is also a requirement to for an assault charge under s 20 of the Act. Further, violence when in anger was intended and likely to cause bodily injury, and is unlawful regardless of whether consent was given. The only defences found to be available were those permitted by law, i.e. sport, medical procedure, self-defence or the prevention of a crime.

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please.

Current Offers