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Hurt and Grievous Hurt under the Brunei Penal Code: The role of medical experts

Masum, Ahmad and Mohamed Nafees, Seeni Mohamed and Ahmad, Muhamad Hassan (2020) Hurt and Grievous Hurt under the Brunei Penal Code: The role of medical experts. The Law Review. pp. 35-51.

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The framers of the Brunei Penal Code (Cap 22) found it difficult to draw a line between those bodily hurts which are serious and those which are slight. They observed that to draw such a line with perfect accuracy was absolutely impossible. Therefore, certain kinds of hurt were designated as grievous. Hurt sometimes involves little more than a force but is treated as hurt in view of the pain caused to the victim i.e. pushing somebody over and causing a slight gash to his leg. Sometimes hurt may mean serious beating but may fall short of grievous hurt. At the end of the scale, hurt includes some quite severe beatings that fall short of the highly specific definitions required for grievous hurt. Sections 319 and 320 of the Brunei Penal Code define the terms “hurt” and “grievous hurt” respectively. An injury to the victim may be accidental, suicidal, homicidal or self-inflicted, a medical doctor besides treating such a patient is legally bound to examine and provide expert opinion regarding the injury in a prescribed pro forma i.e. injury report for the aid of investigating police agency and administration of justice in the court of law. A medical doctor has to opine whether the bodily injuries found on the alleged victim are simple or grievous. Regardless of s 320 of the Brunei Penal Code enumerating cases of hurt considered to be grievous, a medical doctor dealing with such cases still finds it difficult to come to a conclusion regarding the nature of the injury. The paper aims to examine the role of medical experts as well as to minimise the dilemma faced by them in the process of providing their expert opinion. The paper concludes that a medical doctor who is examining an injured person has to opine that the injury in question is one or the other of the types recognised in the Brunei Penal Code for the purposes of a given offence. It is the duty of a medical doctor to know the law correctly and apply them in their strict sense. It is finally the Judiciary which will interpret the law and apply it according to the facts and circumstances of each case.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 8116/86400
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brunei Penal Code, expert opinion, grievous hurt, hurt, injury, medical doctor, offence.
Subjects: K Law > K5000 Criminal Law
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws
Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws > Department of Civil Law
Depositing User: Dr. Muhamad Hassan Ahmad
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 16:53
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2020 16:53
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/86400

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