Abolition of diminished responsibility

Hemming, Andrew (2008) Abolition of diminished responsibility. In: 28th Annual Congress of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (NSW) (ANZAPPL 2008): Risks v Rights, 23-26 Oct 2008, Sydney, Australia.


Diminished responsibility is a partial defence to murder which, if proven, reduces criminal liability for unlawful homicide from murder to manslaughter. This paper contends that given the vagueness, uncertainty and practical difficulties associated with the defence of diminished responsibility, it should be abolished completely in Australia as the very breadth of the defence, allows a coach and horses to be driven through criminal responsibility for murder. It will be contended that the availability of the defence of diminished responsibility is not appropriate even in jurisdictions such as Queensland and the Northern Territory which retain a mandatory life sentence for murder. Furthermore, it will be argued that attempts to reformulate the defence of diminished responsibility are akin to seeking to glue back together a shattered vessel.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 19234
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Law (1 Apr 2007 - 31 Dec 2010)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Law (1 Apr 2007 - 31 Dec 2010)
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 04:50
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2021 05:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: murder; homicide; diminished responsibility; provocation
Fields of Research (2008): 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170104 Forensic Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940405 Law Reform
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/19234

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only