30Part 3 considers how the law and the legal system should take into account the “reduced culpability”, or lesser blameworthiness, of victims of family violence who kill their abusers. Some homicides by victims of family violence will not fit the criteria for self-defence – however reformed. Such cases may, however, involve significant mitigating factors, such as a lengthy and severe history of abuse. In the main, reduced culpability for homicide is recognised through the charge filed by the prosecutor or accepted by the jury as proved – murder, manslaughter or some lesser offence – and/or through sentencing.
32In addition to these legislative reform options, Part 3 also examines “softer” options, such as charging practice and guidelines. In this context, we recommend that, when the Solicitor-General’s Prosecution Guidelines are next reviewed, the Solicitor-General give consideration as to whether they should include reference to the potential relevance of a defendant’s history as a victim of family violence.