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Law Commission Issues Paper: Victims of family violence who commit homicide

November 12, 2015 at 3:32 PM

Law Commission Issues Paper: Victims of family violence who commit homicide

Publication date 
11 November 2015

The Law Commission released its Issues Paper, Victims of family violence who commit homicide (IP39), on 11 November 2015.

The Issues Paper considers the law that applies when victims of family violence kill their abusers. It identifies three main areas in which there is a risk the current criminal justice system is not adequately providing for victims of family violence who commit homicide.  These areas include the operation of self-defence, how the law recognises the culpability of these defendants when self-defence is not available (given the absence of any partial defence), and persisting myths and misconceptions about family violence which mean these defendants can struggle to have their experiences understood and may receive inequitable treatment before the law.

The Commission considers some reform is needed to ensure the law applies equitably to victims of family violence.  The Issues Paper canvasses a range of options for reform and seeks feedback on 20 specific questions around the law of self-defence, partial defences, sentencing, decisions to prosecute, evidence, and education on family violence for people in the justice system. 

Submissions are open until 18 December 2015. 

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Category: Submissions