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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.

Can Australian LNG projects stay competitive?

In less than a year, the Australian LNG landscape has gone from a feeling of euphoria to one of increasing negativity and pessimism. There is no doubt that the pendulum of sentiment tends to overshoot both extremes – the scale of the exuberance of 2010-2012 was, in hindsight, unjustified and unprecedented in the global LNG arena. Similarly, the pervasive pessimism today may be self-destructive if left unchecked. However, I will argue that some degree of caution is the prudent strategy when facing increasing uncertainty, and may be better for the long term competitiveness of the Australian LNG industry.

Sentencing should be based on just desserts, not pot luck

THE community outrage at the fact Adrian Bayley was free to kill Jill Meagher is justified. But the focus of the outrage shouldn't be on the parole board for not rescinding Bayley's parole (for offending while on parole). It should be on the fact Bayley was given only 11 years' jail with a minimum of eight years for the brutal rape of five women, after having been jailed previously for rape.

That an offender could be imprisoned for as little as eight years for gratuitously and violently stripping five women of their sexual integrity highlights the catastrophic failings of our sentencing (anti)-system.

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.

Sport, drugs, organised crime and memories of scandals past

 

We are surprisingly poor judges how a particular event will make us feel into the future. In other words, we rely on how we feel right now to predict how we might feel about something later. Psychologists call it affective forecasting.

Pointing the Finger - who are the dopers who are the organised criminals?

As Spain’s Operacion Puerto trial neared the end of its second week, the Australian Crime Commission has released a report that exposes what it calls widespread doping in many Australian sports along with links to organized crime involved in the supply of doping products and match fixing. This report follows up the USADA Armstrong case and further exposes the lie peddled in the Anglo American world that doping in sport is something that only happens somewhere else, for example in European countries like Spain or in sports like cycling.
 

Withdrawing treatment from premature babies – when doctors and parents disagree

 Parents of babies born severely premature or with serious abnormalities are turning to the courts in a bid to override medical opinion to commence or continue life-sustaining treatment for their infants.

It’s difficult enough for parents to witness the birth of their child with such an acute handicap; it can be incredibly confronting when they are presented with the views of their treating doctors that it’s not in the best interests of the child to keep him or her alive.

A new era of consumer protection?

If the goal of product disclosure statement (PDS) is to help consumers make the most appropriate choices, we have to start with the consumer, rather than the document.

So, when we think about consumers, decision-making, and even consumer protection, we need to understand how people decide, and the processes they use to understand information.

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