Prevention of Benefit from Homicide: A Critical Analysis of the Law Reform Commission's Proposals

(2016) 39(1) Dublin University Law Journal, Forthcoming

30 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2016

See all articles by John Mee

John Mee

University College Cork

Date Written: August 24, 2016


This article offers a critique of the Irish Law Reform Commission’s recent proposals on the prevention of benefit from homicide. A person who has committed murder or manslaughter could potentially benefit in various ways, eg through inheriting from the estate of his or her victim or through the operation of the right of survivorship in the context of a joint tenancy. Cases in the succession law context are currently governed by s 120(1) of the Succession Act 1965, while in other instances an analogous common law principle is applied. In principle, the idea of providing for a more detailed and comprehensive statutory regime is uncontroversial. However, as the article argues, the Law Reform Commission's proposal in this respect is defective in a number of ways. The article criticises the inclusion of attempted murder as one of the offences triggering the prevention of benefit principle, as well as the exclusion of those guilty of homicide as accessories and the treatment of persons who are unfit to be tried. In addition, the article criticises the Law Reform Commission's proposals in relation to joint tenancies on the basis that they go beyond what is necessary to prevent the offender from benefitting from the homicide.

Keywords: Succession law; property law; homicide; joint tenancy; co-ownership; forfeiture; accomplices; crime; criminal law; attempted murder; law reform

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K11, K14, K19, K30, K36, K39, K42, K49

Suggested Citation

Mee, John, Prevention of Benefit from Homicide: A Critical Analysis of the Law Reform Commission's Proposals (August 24, 2016). (2016) 39(1) Dublin University Law Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

John Mee (Contact Author)

University College Cork ( email )

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