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PER: Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad

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MATTHEE, JL. The battered woman in criminal law: a legal comparative enquiry. PER [online]. 2009, vol.12, n.4, pp.215-245. ISSN 1727-3781.

This article seeks to critically examine recent criminal law developments in Australia, England and Wales that specifically address the situation in which battered women find themselves. This article specifically focuses on the question of whether or not South Africa can learn something from these developments in order to make better provision for battered women who kill their abusers after having suffered through years of physical abuse. The question of whether or not a separate defence can be created for battered women in South Africa is also explored in this article. In order to answer this question, an investigation is launched into suggested defences in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Keywords : Battered woman; criminal liability; reform; provocation; self-defence; diminished responsibility; separate defence; Australia; New Zealand; England; Wales.

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