Hong Kong is one of at least 22 judiciaries around the world that has designated infanticide, or the killing of a child in the first year of its life, as a special type of homicide, punishable as manslaughter. As a result, most of the women convicted of infanticide here are sentenced to probation and counselling instead of prison terms. Since 2000, there have been eight infanticide cases prosecuted in Hong Kong. The difficulties in prosecuting infanticide cases, according to the Department of Justice, include ascertaining whether 'the woman's mind was disturbed by reason of her not having fully recovered from the effect of giving birth to the child or by reason of the effect of lactation consequent upon the birth'. Another challenge faced by prosecutors is the burden of proving the child was born alive, which must be the case to secure an infanticide, murder or manslaughter prosecution. For this reason, some cases end in prosecution for offences such as 'concealing the birth of a child, obstructing a coroner, etc', according to a Department of Justice spokeswoman. Of the eight infanticide cases, one resulted in an acquittal. In the seven convictions, all defendants received probationary sentences or a custodial sentence equivalent to the time served while they were awaiting their trial. In its approach to sentencing, Hong Kong draws from British precedent - several local rulings have referenced a British ruling from 1989, which stated that not a single prison sentence resulted from 59 infanticide cases recorded in Britain over a 10-year period. A sentencing ruling from a 2008 infanticide case in Hong Kong illustrates the thinking behind this precedent. 'The picture which clearly emerges in the present matter is one of a young, unsophisticated person, which [sic] limited coping skills, placed in a situation of desperation. The punishment which she has inflicted on herself by her conduct is one which will live with her for the rest of her life. This is an instance where no further punishment is needed from the law or this court. 'What is needed is a facility to help her re-establish herself as best she is able,' the judge said.