Review of provocation defence after brutal murder

PUBLIC outrage at the six-year jail sentence given to a killer who cut his wife's throat because she said she had never loved him has prompted a parliamentary review of the provocation defence used in NSW murder trials.

Chamanjot Singh repeatedly slashed his wife Manpreet Kaur's throat with a box-cutter during a heated argument at the couple's home in December 2009.

Last year he stood trial accused of her murder but was convicted of manslaughter instead on the grounds he was "provoked" by her admission and threats to have him deported.

A parliamentary committee was established soon after to review whether the partial defence of provocation should be abolished.

Christian Democrats MLC Rev Fred Nile told the Upper House this week the defence had historically "tended to favour men and the archetypal male response to provocative circumstances".

He said in modern society it was unacceptable that the law offered a defence to those who kill in response to provocative circumstances which were in fact "part of the human experience" such as "being told a relationship is going to end, discovering infidelity, feeling jealous and betrayed".

Questions were raised, however, about whether the defence should still be available to long-term victims of domestic violence where provocation may be easier to prove than self-defence.

Rev Nile said the committee would recommend the State Government amend the legislation according to a "gross provocation model" which would restrict the availability of the defence to only be applied in "extreme and unusual circumstances".


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