Partial Defences to Murder: Report on a Reference Under Section 3(1)(e) of the Law Commissions Act 1965
Following on from an earlier consultation paper by the Law Commission (Consultation paper 173, ISBN 0117302597) published in October 2003, this report makes recommendations on the law and practice of the partial defences to murder of diminished responsibility and provocation, as covered by the Homicide Act 1957, with particular regard to domestic violence situations. It also considers whether there should be a partial defence to murder in cases involving the use of excessive force in self-defence. Appendices include sections detailing: research into the ways in which the law of provocation and diminished responsibility are working; a brief empirical survey of public opinion relating to partial defences to murder; a synopsis of sample cases of female defendants convicted of murder; and a sociological history of provocation and diminished responsibility.
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PROVOCATION 3 1 30
SCOPE OF OUR CURRENT TERMS
The impact of the mandatory sentence 2 59
Provisional conclusions 3 15
Abolition or reformulation of provocation? 3 32
Our approach to reform of provocation 3 60
The case form some form of partial defence to murder which
excessive use of force in selfdefence 4 27
Merger of provocation and diminished responsibility into
abnormality of mind abolition abuse basis of depression battered woman syndrome circumstances Consultation Paper consultees convicted of murder Court Criminal Law culpability defence of diminished defence of provocation defence to murder defendant's domestic violence Ds DR plea fatally stabbed female defendants given a restriction grievous bodily harm guilty to murder Homicide Act 1957 husband imprisonment jury convicted knife lack of intent Law Commission law of murder lbid LCJ each recommended LCJ recommended male aged male co-D male defendants malice aforethought mandatory life sentence mandatory sentence manslaughter mens rea mental disorder minimum term murdered partners offence Paper No 173 partial defence plea was accepted pleaded guilty pleaded not guilty premeditation prosecution provocation and diminished psychiatric report psychiatrists ran diminished responsibility recommended a minimum recommended tariffs reform relationship reports favoured DR restriction order SAMM scenario schizophrenia Scottish Law Commission sexual substantially impaired Table trial judge recommended verdict victim