The implementation of feminist law reforms: the case of post-provocation sentencing

Hunter, Rosemary and Tyson, Danielle 2017, The implementation of feminist law reforms: the case of post-provocation sentencing, Social & legal studies, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 129-165, doi: 10.1177/0964663916666628.

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Title The implementation of feminist law reforms: the case of post-provocation sentencing
Author(s) Hunter, Rosemary
Tyson, DanielleORCID iD for Tyson, Danielle
Journal name Social & legal studies
Volume number 26
Issue number 2
Start page 129
End page 165
Total pages 37
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017
ISSN 0964-6639
Keyword(s) feminist law reform
judicial attitudes
partial defence of provocation
Social Sciences
Criminology & Penology
Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary
Government & Law
Social Sciences - Other Topics
Summary In 2005 the Australian State of Victoria abolished the controversial partial defence of provocation. Part of the impetus for the reforms was to challenge provocation’s victim-blaming narratives and the defence’s tendency to excuse men’s violence against intimate partners. However, concerns were also expressed that these narratives and excuses would simply reappear at the sentencing stage when men who had killed intimate partners were convicted of murder or manslaughter. This paper analyses post-provocation sentencing judgments, reviewing cases over the 10 year period since the reforms in order to determine whether these concerns have been borne out. The analysis suggests that at the level of sentencing outcomes they have not, although at the level of discourse the picture is more mixed. While sentencing narratives continue to reproduce the language of provocation, at the same time, post-provocation sentencing appears to provide opportunities for feminist judging – picking up on the spirit of the reforms – which have been taken up by some judges more than others.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/0964663916666628
Field of Research 160203 Courts and Sentencing
1602 Criminology
1801 Law
1608 Sociology
Socio Economic Objective 940405 Law Reform
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
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