The independent South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) based at the Adelaide Law School welcomes the recent announcement by the Attorney-General, the Hon Vickie Chapman MP, that the State Government will introduce legislation abolishing the partial defence of provocation in homicide by the end of the year.
The Attorney-General said that this measure will form part of the Government’s comprehensive response to SALRI’s previous review of the state’s provocation laws.
The Attorney-General said that the extensive work undertaken by SALRI has helped to underpin the Government’s work in this area.
“The Law Reform Institute did a tremendous job highlighting the complexities of these laws and I again extend my thanks to them for their significant body of research,” Ms Chapman said.
Professor John Williams, SALRI’s Director, said that SALRI has been consistent in its view that, whilst the ‘gay advance’ aspect of the partial defence of provocation is objectionable and should be removed, this was only part of a complex wider picture that also needs to be considered.
‘The whole issue of provocation is complex and the problems of provocation extend well beyond the discriminatory gay panic aspect and its impact on LGBTIQ communities and involve gender implications, especially in its problematic application to victims of family violence. There are issues with other defences such as self-defence, duress and necessity. There are also sentencing implications under the present law.’
Dr David Plater, SALRI’s Deputy Director, noted that SALRI conducted extensive research and consultation as part of its work and completed two major Reports into Provocation and related issues.
There will now be extensive consultation by the Government with key interested parties with a view to bringing a Bill before the Parliament by the end of the year.