19 Aug 2009

Unanimous support for bill to end provocation defence

7:51 am on 19 August 2009

A bill repealing the partial defence of provocation in homicide cases has passed its first reading in Parliament with unanimous support.

The Government-sponsored bill amends the provisions of the Crimes Act, and follows two reports by the Law Commission in recent years recommending the defence be abolished.

Justice Minister Simon Power says the defence has previously rewarded a lack of self-control by enabling an intentional killing to be categorised as something other than murder.

Mr Power says it is time to move on in the country's law books from a partial defence, which can result in the character of victims being badly besmirched in court.

The bill will be considered by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.