‘Gay panic’ is no longer accepted as a defence for murder in South Australia. Why and what is the likely impact of the change to the law?
For too long in South Australia, an unwanted same-sex advance was considered by the law to be potentially so confronting as to reasonably provoke a fatal response. The discriminatory ‘gay panic’ defence, as it was known, could reduce murder charges to manslaughter, adding to grieving families’ suffering.
Early this year, the landmark Statutes Amendment (Abolition of Provocation and Related Matters) Act 2020 came into effect, consigning this outdated piece of criminal law to history. ‘Gay panic’ and the wider vexed defence of provocation were formally repealed. And it was thanks largely to research conducted by the independent South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) which is based at the University of Adelaide that this major change to the law occurred. SALRI’s work was supported by the Law Reform class.
In a powerful presentation by legal experts from the University of Adelaide, you’ll hear how this landmark change came to pass, what it means for the LGBTIQ community, and the significant role played by our law students. The presenters will also explain how the Act now better protects victims of domestic violence.
Dr David Plater is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide Law School, and Deputy Director of the SALRI. His experience includes working with the South Australian Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and in legislation and legal policy in the Attorney-General's Department. He is also a former Senior Crown Prosecutor at the Youth and Inner London Crown Court branch of the Crown Prosecution Service.
Olivia Jay is a University of Adelaide law graduate. She was a SALRI researcher as a student, and continues to assist with the institute’s research on various projects. Olivia is currently an Associate to the Hon. Justice Doyle of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of South Australia.
Meg Lawson is also a University of Adelaide law graduate. During her studies she contributed to SALRI research and was a co-author of the Stage 2 report on the operation of Provocation. She currently works as a lawyer in civil litigation.
WHAT: Provocation Revoked: Research Tuesdays
WHO: David Plater
WHERE: In person at the Braggs Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide, North Terrace campus. Or register and watch the live Zoom webinar via the Research Tuesdays website https://www.adelaide.edu.au/research/events/research-tuesdays or watch the live stream via the Research Tuesdays Facebook page.
WHEN: 5.30–6.30 pm, Tuesday 11 May 2021
COST: Free event
FURTHER INFO: www.facebook.com/researchtuesdays