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Burden Of Proof Falls On Defendant

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posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 07:07 PM
Crime of passion is no longer an excuse when it goes to court, you are now guilty until proven innoccent.

The criminal law in Queensland relating to the defence of provocation and the excuse of accident will be changed.

No longer will jealous ex-lovers be able to claim provocation as an excuse for criminal behaviour under Criminal Code amendments to be introduced by the Bligh government, Attorney-General Cameron Dick said.

He said the most significant change would mean that offenders could no longer claim to be provoked by verbal insults or adverse comments to reduce a murder charge to manslaughter, except in exceptional circumstances.

"This change, which was recommended by the Queensland Law Reform Commission, will remove insults and statements about relationships from the scope of the defence," Mr Dick said.

"The amendments will also recognise a person's right to assert their personal or sexual autonomy and will reduce the scope of the defence being available to those who kill out of sexual possessiveness or jealousy."

The onus of proof will be placed upon the defendant when the partial defence of provocation is claimed, Mr Dick said in a statement.

"The partial defence of provocation will be amended in accordance with the Law Reform Commission recommendation, by placing the onus of proof upon the defendant," he said.

"As the report stated, placing the onus upon the defendant strikes the right balance between the rights of the individual and the wider interests of the community."

The Law Reform Commission made a number of recommendations in relation to accident and provocation that warranted further exploration by the government.

Mr Dick said the government expects to introduce the amendments to accident and provocation into parliament before the end of the year.

edit on 11-9-2010 by acrux because: Spelling

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