Self-Control in the Modern Provocation Defence

TitleSelf-Control in the Modern Provocation Defence
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsHolton, R, Shute, S
JournalOxford Journal of Legal Studies

Most recent discussion of the provocation defence has focused on the objective test, and little attention has been paid to the subjective test. However, the subjective test provides a substantial constraint: the killing must result from a provocation that undermines the defendant's self-control. The idea of loss of self-control has been developed in both the philosophical and psychological literatures. Understanding the subjective test in the light of the conception developed there makes for a far more coherent interpretation of the provocation defence. It also makes clear just how radical various proposals for reform of the defence would be