Considering New Zealand's Lack of Partial Defences in Relation to Battered Women Who Kill Their Abusers

40 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2020

See all articles by Anna McTaggart

Anna McTaggart

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: September 2, 2019

Abstract

Women in New Zealand face high levels of intimate partner violence (IPV). However, when battered women kill their abusers, they are often not well-served by self-defence and few are able to argue the defence effectively. New Zealand has no partial defences, which leaves women stuck between the guilty-not-guilty binary of self-defence on the one hand and a possible murder conviction on the other. Although partial defences are not a perfect solution, they would provide battered women with more options. While there are several different partial defences which could be used in a New Zealand context, a specific IPV- based defence would be the most appropriate, as it could be designed from the ground up and avoid many of the flaws inherent in the other partial defences.

Keywords: Intimate Partner Violence, Partial Defences, Self-Defence, Battered Women

JEL Classification: K00, K14

Suggested Citation

McTaggart, Anna, Considering New Zealand's Lack of Partial Defences in Relation to Battered Women Who Kill Their Abusers (September 2, 2019). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 6/2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3556196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3556196

Anna McTaggart (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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