‘A Practical Guide to Insane and Non-Insane Automatism in Criminal Law – Sleepwalking, Blackouts, Hypoglycaemia, and Other Issues’ by Ramya Nagesh

Paperback: 978-1-913715-89-2
Publication Due: November 2021
Price: TBA


Cases involving sleepwalking, blackouts at the wheel, hypo and hyper glycaemia and other instances where a person cannot control their actions have been the subject of much debate in the criminal law. The difficulties involved in such situations can be seen by certain unsatisfactory conclusions: such as sleepwalkers being dubbed insane, or the fact that whether the defendant was suffering from hypo and hyperglycaemia can mean the difference between being found insane, or being acquitted on the basis of non-insane automatism.

Barrister Ramya Nagesh’s latest book will deal with this thorny topic. Ramya has already authored A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to Hate Crime and Covid-19 and Criminal Law – The Essential Guide, both published by LawBrief publishing.

The book will be a comprehensive guide for any legal practitioner wishing to understand more about this complex area of law. It would be a great addition to the bookshelf of any legal professional, or indeed anyone with an interest in the topic.


Ramya Nagesh is a barrister at No 5 Chambers who specialises in criminal law and the law relating to inquests and inquiries.

Over the years Ramya has built a wealth of expertise in criminal matters, for both the Prosecution and the Defence, representing individuals and corporations. The vast majority of her work is in the Crown Court, where her practice is in all areas of general crime, but she also appears in the Court of Appeal. She advises a variety of clients on a range of matters, including appeals to the Court of Appeal and appeals to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

She has worked closely in a number of high-profile cases involving complex issues. Examples are the Hillsborough Inquest, the Jersey Care Home Abuse Inquiry, the Grenfell Inquiry and the Inquest into Terror Attacks at the Fishmongers Hall. She single-handedly led successful arguments about the application of the PsychoActive Substances Act 2016 to the possession of nitrous oxide, which made national headlines and raised serious questions about whether the Act was fit for purpose.

Ramya is the author of two books: A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to Hate Crime and Covid-19 and Criminal Law – The Essential Guide. This third book will delve into the complex and fascinating world of insane and non-insane automatism.

Ramya has always had an interesting in insane and non-insane automatism. She has written about it for Criminal Bar Quarterly, advised about its application in practice and lectured about it. This book forms the next logical step in bringing her experience and knowledge to a wider legal audience.