Provocation

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Provocation can be used as a defence in charges of murder and, if successful, reduces the charge to manslaughter. Provocation may also be cited as a mitigating factor in other offences, but in general it only affects Sentencing. An assertion of self-defence, if it can be demonstrated, is more helpful than provocation in murder cases because, if it succeeds, may lead to a full acquital. Whether provocation is relevant is a matter of fact, rather than law, and it will generally be the jury's job to determine whether it is a defence or not. However, the judge will usually direct the jury that to succeed, the accused must claim three things:

  • that the killing was the result of a sudden and temporary loss of control on the part of the accused, and
  • the loss of control resulted from something that was said or done, and
  • a 'reasonable person' might have been expected to respond the same way.
    UK LAW
    Criminal Law