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Murder and manslaughter are two offences which constitute homicide in England and Wales alongside other specific homicide offences such as infanticide and causing death by dangerous driving. Currently in England and Wales, a conviction for murder carries a mandatory life sentence.

Recent calls for reform have considered rules on joint enterprise, mandatory sentencing, proposals for degrees of murder based on the intention of the killer, and wider discretion for the courts to consider cases where the killing was reckless rather than intentional.

This debate pack provides a brief overview of the offences of murder and manslaughter and the recent reviews and consultations which have considered option for reform. It also contains a selection of relevant parliamentary business and press and media articles which may be of interest in relation to this debate.

Debate packs are intended to provide a summary or overview of the issues being debated and identify any relevant briefings including press and parliamentary material. A more detailed briefing may be prepared for a Member on request to the Library.

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