Chapter 17: Automatisms

Automatisms are defined as involuntary behaviour over which someone has no control. They come in a wide array of forms, and negate criminal responsibility.

There is an interesting history of automatism defences used when drivers cause death and believe they weren’t in control.

REM guitarist Peter Buck was cleared of ‘air rage’, pleading a non-insane automatism because he’d taken a sleeping pill that reacted violently with alcohol.