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Labour welcomes repeal of provocation

26 November 2009
Media Statement

Labour welcomes repeal of provocation

Parliament ended an anachronism this evening when it struck the partial defence of provocation from the statute book, Labour's justice spokespeople Lianne Dalziel and Charles Chauvel said.

Both Labour MPs were responsible for drafting and introducing a bill to repeal the outdated defence.

Their bill was adopted, in an almost identical measure, by the Government, and it is that bill that was passed by Parliament this evening.

The partial defence allows a charge of murder to be reduced to one of manslaughter if the killer can convince a jury that he experienced an outburst of rage that overpowered his judgment.

It has led to the killing of three gay men in the past 6 years to be classified as manslaughter, and was pleaded unsuccessfully in the murder of Sophie Elliot.

It has been used successfully over the years to justify the killing of women by their partners.

"We welcome the removal of the defence. We congratulate and thank all those who worked to achieve this outcome - including all parties in Parliament except the ACT party,” Lianne Dalziel and Charles Chauvel said.

“We are proud to have played our part in this reform.”

ENDS

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