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Queensland moves to strike ‘gay panic’ Homosexual Advance Defence

Amy Remeikis reports in the Brisbane Times (11.5.16) on the state government’s promised move to remove allowance for the so-called ‘gay panic’ defence from Queensland law.

‘Queensland is finally moving to strike the ‘gay panic’ defence from its books, making it one of the last jurisdictions to do so.

‘The Homosexual Advance Defence, known as HAD or gay panic, has been on Australian law books since the 1990s, as a provocation defence.

‘Because of the mandatory sentencing which accompanies murder charges, provocation is an important defence. Under the Queensland law, which was changed under the Newman government to ensure that words alone did not count to provocation, “unless exceptional circumstances exist”, an accused could claim they had experienced temporary insanity after being overwhelmed by a homosexual advance.’

Gay panic law reform bill should be passed, committee recommends

Felicity Caldwell reports in the Brisbane Times (21.2.17) that the Parliament’s Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee has supported the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed law change to remove the ‘gay panic’ defence.

‘Queensland MPs should pass laws which would overturn the “gay panic” defence, a parliamentary committee has recommended.

‘The homosexual advance defence, to use the legal term, has been used by people accused of murder to claim they were provoked due to an unwanted sexual advance.

‘The successful application of section 304 of the Criminal Code, killing on provocation, reduced the criminal responsibility to manslaughter, meaning the defendant avoided life in jail.’

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