SALRI’s Forfeiture Rule project – a productive day and further views welcome

The independent South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) based at the Adelaide Law School held two consultation sessions with interested parties at the University of Adelaide on 5 April 2019 to discuss its present reference examining the forfeiture rule in unlawful homicide. The two roundtable sessions were chaired by the Hon Tom Gray QC and proved highly productive.

SALRI is grateful for the various parties and practitioners who generously took part, including the Attorney-General (the Hon Vickie Chapman MP), the Shadow Attorney-General (the Hon Kyam Maher MLC), the Hon Tom Gray QC, the Hon John Sulan QC and Mr Terry Evans. SALRI expresses its thanks for the valuable input of representatives from both sides of Government, various practitioners, the NGO sector, the Law Society of South Australia, the SA Bar Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (SA), the Legal Services Commission, the Office for Women, Uniting Communities, Women’s Legal Service SA and the Women Lawyers Association who all attended on 5 April.

Attendees at the morning session on 5 April

Hon Vickie Chapman MP and SALRI    

The Hon Kyam Maher MLC and Professor John Williams








Public Consultation

SALRI’s public consultation is still open and we are keen to hear your views on this important reference.

The forfeiture rule provides that any person who has unlawfully caused the death of another is precluded from taking any benefit that arises as a result of the victim’s death.  The rationale of the rule is sound and accords with public policy, as a killer should be generally unable to benefit from his or her crime. However, the scope and operation of the rule are contentious and uncertain in various respects.  In particular, the strict application of the forfeiture rule to unlawful killings in various situations may lead to unfair outcomes in such situations as assisted suicide or a ‘mercy killing’ or especially in a context of domestic violence where a victim of domestic violence kills an abusive spouse and is convicted of manslaughter on the basis of excessive self-defence or provocation.

To assist in providing some focus to your comments or submission, some Background Information and our Consultation Questions can be found in the Fact Sheet. It may that a particular area is of interest, so please do not feel obliged to answer every question. We welcome comments or submissions on any question or issue relating to this reference.

SALRI is also holding consultation sessions with the community in both Mount Gambier and Adelaide at which members of the public are most welcome to attend to share their views.

Community consultation sessions:

Session Date Time Location
Mount Gambier 15 April 2019 2:15pm-3:15pm GTE Training Rooms, 173 Commercial St West, Mount Gambier
Adelaide 17 April 2019 10am-12pm Level 11, Nexus 10 Building, University of Adelaide, Cnr North Tce and Pulteney St

Consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 3 May 2019.

SALRI will provide its Report to the Government later in the year.

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