Chapter 4
Previous work


4.1The Law Commission has examined the issues raised by this reference on two previous occasions. In 2001, the Commission published Some Criminal Defences with Particular Reference to Battered Defendants (the 2001 Report),190 and in 2007, the Commission addressed the position of family violence victims in its review of the partial defence of provocation.191
4.2Neither the 2001 Report nor the Commission’s consideration of provocation was, however, a comprehensive review of the law of homicide.192 The first was confined to a specific group of defendants and the second to a particular criminal defence.

4.3Our current terms of reference are also confined, as we note in Chapter 1. This review is limited to the law relating to victims of family violence who commit homicide. Our remit is, therefore, differently contoured than in previous reviews and narrower than in some overseas jurisdictions – including Australian states, England and Wales, and Ireland – that have recently considered similar issues. We discuss overseas law reform in Chapter 6.

190Law Commission, above n 7.
191Law Commission, above n 8.
192The 2001 Report only considered criminal defences from the perspective of victims of family violence. The 2007 Report took a broader approach but only in respect of one specific defence – the partial defence of provocation.