Securing Fair Outcomes for Battered Women Charged with Homicide: Analysing Defence Lawyering in R v Falls
43 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2015 Last revised: 25 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 31, 2015
Despite law reforms intended explicitly to improve their prospects of receiving fairer consideration within the criminal justice system, it is still the case that most battered women accused of homicide are not successful in relying on self-defence. Defending battered women charged with homicide offers substantial challenges for defence lawyers. Acquittals leave little trace in standard modes of legal reporting and thus there are few opportunities for defence lawyers to examine the advocacy of their peers. In this article we document strategies that may support successful outcomes with specific reference to R v Falls, in which a battered woman charged with murder in ‘non-confrontational circumstances’ was acquitted on the basis of self-defence.
Keywords: battered women, homicide, self defence, R v Falls
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