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Sri Lankan Law Forum » Criminal Law Forum » Battered Woman Syndrome

Battered Woman Syndrome

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1 Battered Woman Syndrome on Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:25 pm


Battered woman syndrome is a psychological condition which women who are battered over a prolong period, develop and which condition is indicative of cumulative provocation which is said to be typical of women.

According to decided English authorities like R v. Thornton (1996) 1 WLR 1174, battered woman syndrome though not a defence in itself to murder, is a means of convincing the court of diminished responsibility or provocation.

However, the defence of 'Provocation' to murder, as envisaged in the Sri Lanka Penal Code demands 'grave and sudden' loss of self control which test does not accommodate the 'battered woman syndrome'.

Not recognising 'battered woman syndrome' within the definition of 'Provocation', therefore, is discriminatory of women and, is an utter disregard of the female psychology and their different make-up to men.

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