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August 8, 2013

South Australia joins the provocation debate

Scales of justiceProvocation 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 taking steps to minimise the application of this controversial law.

Provocation has been abolished as a partial defence to murder in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. The applicability of the defence has been restricted in Queensland, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. Most recently, in April 2013 a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry recommended reform to exclude certain contexts of lethal violence from giving rise to a partial defence of provocation.

Last month Greens MLC, Tammy Franks, called for public consultation on reforms to the law of provocation and specifically, stakeholder’s perceptions on whether provocation should be completely abolished as a partial defence to murder in South Australia.

Deakin Criminology’s Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon has provided a submission to Ms Franks, which strongly advocates for complete abolition of the partial defence of provocation.

Click here to read Kate’s submission.

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