A victory for fairness and common sense: R v Hughes

Claire McDiarmid, Pamela Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2006 several new offences were added to the Road Traffic Act 1988, one of which
was section 3ZB

1. Headed “Causing death by driving: unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured drivers”, this provides: A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he causes the death2 of another person by driving a motor vehicle on a road and, at the time when he is driving, the circumstances are such that he is ... (a) ... driving [without a valid] licence3... (b) ... driving while disqualified4... or (c) ... using a motor vehicle while uninsured5...

The maximum penalty for this offence is two years’ imprisonment6 In R v Hughes7
the Supreme Court interpreted this in a way which is fairer to the accused than in previous cases, and in accordance with common sense views of causation. This note describes the previous position and summarises the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-88
Number of pages5
JournalEdinburgh Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • road traffic homicide
  • Road Traffic Act 1988 s 3ZB
  • R v Hughes


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