+ 44 7511 627697


Follow Us:

R v King

Legal Case Summary

R v King [1964] 1 QB 285

Mistake on the facts as a defence to a charge of bigamy under Offences Against the Person Act 1861


The individual on trial had entered into a new marriage while still being legally married to another person. They were charged with bigamy, which is a criminal offense outlined in section 57 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. This law states that any person who marries someone else while still being married to another person, whether the new marriage takes place in England, Ireland, or another country, is guilty of a felony. The defendant argued that they had entered into the new marriage under the belief that their previous marriage was no longer valid.


Whether a genuine mistaken belief as to a fact is a defence to a charge of bigamy under s.57 OAPA 1861.


The defense of mistake can be used in this situation, but only if the belief that the previous marriage was void is both honest and reasonable. This would mean that the defendant would not have the necessary intent to commit the crime outlined in section 57 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The court in this case distinguished it from the case of R v. Wheat & Stocks [1921] 2 K.B 119, in which even a reasonable belief was not held to be sufficient for a defense. However, that case has since been overruled by R v. Gould [1968] 2 Q.B 65, which established that an honest and reasonable belief can be used as a defense against a charge of bigamy. An unreasonable belief is not enough because it shows negligence in regards to the facts that the belief is based on.

Join UOL LLB Crash Course online along with Solved Pastpapers, click here for more information

Answering problem questions in the University of London LLB programme requires a clear understanding of legal principles, good analytical skills and the ability to apply the law to a given set of facts. Here are some tips to help you answer problem questions effectively:

  1. Read the question carefully: Make sure you understand what the question is asking before you begin writing.
  2. Identify the legal issues: Identify the legal issues raised by the facts and the relevant laws that apply to those issues.
  3. Analyze the facts: Analyze the facts presented in the question, focusing on the details that are relevant to the legal issues.
  4. Apply the law: Apply the relevant laws to the facts, making sure to consider all relevant legal principles and cases.
  5. Structure your answer: Use a clear and well-structured approach, starting with an introduction that outlines the main legal issues, followed by a discussion of the relevant laws and a conclusion that summarizes your analysis and sets out your conclusion.
  6. Use relevant cases and statutes: Cite relevant cases and statutes to support your analysis and help illustrate the legal principles you are discussing.
  7. Be concise: Be concise and to the point, focusing on the key issues and avoiding unnecessary detail.
  8. Proofread: Proofread your answer carefully to make sure it is error-free and clear.
  9. Time management: Make sure you manage your time effectively, leaving enough time to review your answer and make any necessary corrections.

By following these tips, you should be able to answer problem questions in the University of London LLB programme effectively and with confidence. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Info

Quick Links


LLB Notes

© 2024 Dale Academy is project of Ninety Two Chambers LLP  registered in England and Wales