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Victoria's new homicide laws: provocative reforms or more stories of women 'asking for it'

Tyson, Danielle 2011, Victoria's new homicide laws: provocative reforms or more stories of women 'asking for it', Current issues in criminal justice, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 203-235.

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Title Victoria's new homicide laws: provocative reforms or more stories of women 'asking for it'
Author(s) Tyson, Danielle
Journal name Current issues in criminal justice
Volume number 23
Issue number 2
Start page 203
End page 235
Total pages 32
Publisher The University of Sydney
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Publication date 2011-11
ISSN 1034-5329
Keyword(s) law
homicide
women
victim-blaming
provocation
Summary The controversial partial defence of provocation has now been abolished in three Australian jurisdictions, including Victoria. Recent developments in Victorian case law would appear to suggest a continuation of ‘excuses’ for male anger and violence towards women that position the woman victim as to blame for her own death. This article considers that the 2005 abolition of provocation was only in part designed to redress the problem of victim-blame. The decision was accompanied by other key changes introduced into the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) to make it easier for women who kill in the context of family violence to successfully claim self-defence and ‘excessive self-defence’ (defensive homicide). Drawing on recent developments in Victorian case law since the 2005 amendments, this article argues that the claim that provocation’s victim-blaming narratives are being mobilised in the guise of other defences merits closer analysis. It also argues that provocation’s critics must continue to expose the gendered (and raced) assumptions underlying the other defences to homicide, such as self-defence including manslaughter and the new offence of defensive homicide. Otherwise there is a risk that provocation’s victim-blaming narratives could end up rewritten in such a way that support an argument for a reduction in culpability in cases where there is a history of violence against the woman victim, which is likely to result in claims that little has changed.
Language eng
Field of Research 160203 Courts and Sentencing
160203 Courts and Sentencing
180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 940405 Law Reform
HERDC Research category CN.1 Other journal article
ERA Research output type X Not reportable
Copyright notice ©2011, Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30088158

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.