Calm Like a Bomb: An Assessment of the Partial Defence of Provocation


  • Wayne N. Renke



The partial defence of provocation has been used by the common law courts for some 400 years. Recently, it has been attacked for promoting male heterosexual violence and for its presupposition that ordinary people fly into homicidal rages. The author examines the provocation doctrine and argues that while some changes can be made to the drafting and deployment of the defence, provocation serves a legitimate purpose in accounting for the complexity of being human. The author supports this position by reviewing the application of the doctrine, addressing common criticisms of the defence, and suggesting improvements to the application of provocation that will prevent it from being used to devalue and degrade murder victims.




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