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Verbal provocation defence removed in Qld

Verbal provocation defence removed in Qld

Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick has this week revealed plans to amend the Criminal Code so that the defence of verbal provocation can no longer be used as an excuse for criminal…

Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick has this week revealed plans to amend the Criminal Code so that the defence of verbal provocation can no longer be used as an excuse for criminal behaviour.

The Attorney-General said the laws relating to the excuse of accident and the defence of provocation in criminal trials would be amended to ensure they continued to reflect contemporary standards.

Under the changes, offenders can no longer claim to be provoked by verbal insults or adverse comments to reduce a murder charge to manslaughter, except in exceptional circumstances.

"This change, which was recommended by the Queensland Law Reform Commission, will remove insults and statements about relationships from the scope of the defence," the Attorney-General said.

"The amendments will also recognise a person's right to assert their personal or sexual autonomy and will reduce the scope of the defence being available to those who kill out of sexual possessiveness or jealousy."

Other changes to the Criminal Code will involve clarifying sections concerning the accident excuse and amending the partial defence of provocation by placing the onus of proof upon the defendant.

"These changes are further evidence of the Bligh Government's commitment to modernising the state's legal system," he said.

The government expects to introduce a bill containing the amendments into Parliament before the end of the year.

Like this story? Read more:

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Verbal provocation defence removed in Qld
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