Research Monograph 28 – Partial defences to murder in NSW 1990–2004

Monograph 28 Cover - Partial Defences To Murder In NSW 1990-2004

Paperback, 96 pp, September 2006, ISBN 073135614 4
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The partial defences of provocation, substantial impairment (formerly diminished responsibility) and excessive self-defence reduce a crime that would otherwise be murder to manslaughter. Partial defences reflect a rationale that, in some cases, the extenuating circumstances in which a person commits murder may warrant a conviction for the less serious offence of manslaughter. Partial defences are understandably a contentious topic. In a criminal trial, these difficult issues are decided by the jury as fact finder or, in rare cases, by a judge alone.  This study provides a comprehensive empirical picture of partial defences in NSW for the period of 1990 to 2004. It collects information on all cases raising a partial defence in the 14-year period, including:

  • the number of offenders who had a partial defence accepted or rejected
  • features of offenders who were convicted and sentenced for manslaughter on the basis of a partial defence
  • sentencing results for offenders sentenced for manslaughter based on a partial defence