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State Government moves to abolish provocation defence

9 April 2019

The State Government will introduce legislation abolishing the defence of provocation by the end of the year, after announcing today a Bill will be drafted to go out for extensive consultation.

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said the measure would form part of a comprehensive response to the South Australian Law Reform Institute’s review of the state’s provocation laws.

“The fact that an outdated legal position such as this is still exists is disappointing, to say the least,” Ms Chapman said.

“But, unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just abolishing the defence.

“Abolishing the defence of provocation, of which the so-called ‘gay panic’ defence is a part, has far broader consequences than just removing this outdated and frankly offensive aspect.

“It would likely also have an impact on those victims of domestic violence who kill an abuser in self-defence.

“This is why we have sought to take a considered approach that removes those outdated, discriminatory elements while retaining those elements that are in line with community expectations.”

Attorney-General Chapman said the extensive work undertaken by the South Australian Law Reform Institute has helped to underpin the Liberal 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.

“Cabinet has now approved the drafting of a Bill that reflects the Government’s response to the Institute’s recommendations, and ensure our laws in this area are brought up to date.”

Ms Chapman said key stakeholders – such as the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Courts Administration Authority and victims’ rights groups – would be consulted on the draft legislation, with a view to bringing a Bill before the Parliament by the end of the year