Manslaughter in the Latin and Anglo-Saxon Systems: Qatari Penal Code and the American Model Penal Code as a Model

Dr. Khaled Saleh Al-Shammari

Assistant Professor of Criminal Law and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs – College of Law – University of Qatar


This paper mainly discusses the provisions on manslaughter in the Latin and Anglo-Saxon systems. Given the difficulty of comparing all the legislation that follows the Latin and Anglo-Saxon schools, the focus will be on both the Qatari Penal Code as a model for the Latin system, and the American Model Penal Code as a model for the Anglo-Saxon system. This means that a descriptive and analytical comparative approach between the two laws will be followed through analyzing the provisions on the crime of manslaughter in the two laws.
The importance of this research lies in its uniqueness as one of the rare studies discussing the crime of manslaughter in the American Model Penal Code. This law brought about a qualitative leap in the Anglo-Saxon system in general and in American criminal law in particular, which prompted the legislator to amend the provisions of the law in a manner consistent with the legal models cited in the Model Penal Code.
The sections of this research focus on dealing with the provisions of the crime of manslaughter in Qatari law and the Model Penal Code by stating the perspective of the legislator in defining the element of unintentional error in the crime of murder, its types, its forms, and the applicable standard to determine whether or not the error is present in the case of the accused of manslaughter. This research raises a question regarding the difference between the provisions on manslaughter in the two laws, and the extent to which there is a need to benefit from the American Model Penal Code to develop the provisions on manslaughter in Arab laws in general, and in Qatari law in particular.
This research presents the most important points of difference between the two laws in the field of manslaughter, such as the difference related to the failure of the US Model Penal Code to adopt forms of unintentional error. This research also includes a presentation of the most important recommendations that we consider necessary for the Qatari legislator to take into consideration, using the American Model Penal Code, such as the recommendation regarding the distinction between the punishment for manslaughter due to conscious error and manslaughter due to unconscious error by drafting two separate provisions in the Qatari Penal Code to be adopted separately.

Keywords: recklessness, negligence, conscious error, unconscious error, failure to observe laws and regulations.

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