“The Victorian Government is right to abolish the offence of defensive homicide which
has proven as equally ineffective as provocation.” Discuss
Provocation is a partial defence to murder whereby the offender kills in response to
provocative conduct initiated due to continuous incitement on behalf of the victim. The
offender therefore becomes less culpable compared to someone who kills intentionally and
deliberately in cold blood but still deserves to face serious charges and penalties.
In the case of Parker v The Queen  UKPCHCA 1; (1964) 111 CLR 665 (12 May
1964), Lord Morris of Borth-Y-Gest clarified the meaning of provocation and what constitutes
provocation with no intent to kill. He delivered as follows:
“(1) Where, on the trial of a person for murder, it appears that the act causing death was
induced by the use of grossly insulting language, or gestures, on the part of the deceased,
the jury may consider the provocation offered, as in the case of provocation by a blow. (2)
Where, on any such trial, it appears that the act or omission causing death does not amount
to murder, but does amount to manslaughter, the jury may acquit the accused of murder, and
find him guilty of manslaughter ……”
However over the centuries, the defence of provocation changed in all facets and today, the
fundamental reasoning behind is “it amounts to a concession to human frailty.” In other
words, it means the much-criticized defence of provocation reflects and justifies the male
aggression. This outdated notion of male behaviour and blaming the victim of the act is now
no longer accepted in our modern society (Media Release, 4 October 2005).
Defensive homicide was introduced in November 2005 while simultaneously abolishing the
controversial partial defence of provocation. The Parliament`s intention behind was to have a
clear picture of reduced culpability where a jury rendered a verdict to a lesser offence with
regard to a trial for murder. As discussed as well by Kellie Toole...