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Why South Australia must abolish the partial defence of provocation

Provocation is a partial defence to murder, which has attracted controversy and critique in every Australian criminal justice system except South Australia … until now.

Courtesy of concerns surrounding the ‘gay panic’ defence, South Australia has joined the provocation debate and has already begun to take steps to minimising the application of this controversial law. 

Provocation is a partial defence to murder which where successfully raised reduces what would otherwise be murder to manslaughter. A reduction in culpability that has a significant impact in sentencing. It is based on the premise that a degree understanding should be afforded to those who lose their self-control and perpetrate lethal violence in response to provocative conduct on the part of the victim, or a third party.

WHO Report reveals the devastating prevalence and impact of violence against women worldwide

This article was first published at The Conversation on the 21st June 2013

This week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released a report examining global estimates of violence against women. The report examines two forms of violence - intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. 

The report reveals the terrifying extent of violence against women in our community. Globally, one in three women will experience an incident of intimate partner violence at some point in their lives. In the most extreme cases, this violence proves fatal. Up to 38% of female homicide victims worldwide having been killed by an intimate partner, current or former.

Legitimising lethal male violence: why defensive homicide needs to be abolished

 This article was first published at The Conversation on the 29th May 2013

Research published last week revealed that from November 2005 to September 2012, 18 of the 22 cases of defensive homicide in Victoria resulted from homicides perpetrated by a male offender upon a male victim. 
 
Just one case during this period involved a male perpetrator and a female victim. In contrast to the dominant use of the offence by males, there have been just three female offenders convicted of defensive homicide in the first seven years of the offence’s operation.

For the full article, please see: https://theconversation.com/legitimising-lethal-male-violence-why-defens...

 

NSW parliamentary inquiry recommends partial reform to provocation law

This article was first published at The Conversation on the 24th April 2013.

Yesterday, the NSW parliamentary Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation released its final report. The report contains a set of recommendations for reforming a defence that has long attracted criticism.

The committee’s final report shies away from closing the door on provocation completely. It recommends a model of reform that retains but restricts this controversial partial defence.
The report is the result of an inquiry that was formed last June in response to community outrage surrounding the trial and sentencing of Chamanjot Singh, who was convicted for killing his wife, Manpreet Kaur.
 

Time to act - provocation must be rejected as an excuse for murder.

This opinion piece first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 20 February 2013.

On Wednesday, the Select Committee of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the partial defence of provocation will release its final report recommending reform to a law that has long animated debate and attracted criticism.

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