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  • Manslaughter is a legal term for the killing of a human being, in a manner considered by law as less culpable than murder. The distinction between murder and manslaughter is sometimes said to have first been made by the Ancient Athenian lawmaker Draco in the 7th century B.C.. The definition of manslaughter differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The law generally differentiates between levels of criminal culpability based on the mens rea, or state of mind; or the circumstances under which the killing occurred. Manslaughter is usually broken down into two distinct categories: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter; however, this is not the case in all jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions, such as the UK, Canada, and some Australian states, "adequate provocation" is a partial defence to a charge of murder, which, if accepted by the jury, would convert what would otherwise have been murder into manslaughter. In Australia, specifically New South Wales, manslaughter is a common law offence as it is not defined in the Crimes Act 1900 under section 18.

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