173) By contrast, that same year, Western Australia replaced provocation manslaughter with the new crime of "unlawful assault causing death," acknowledging its debt to the VLRC, and also revamped its self-defense provisions.
But scrutiny of the VLRC recommendations discloses an additional theoretical foundation--chiefly, a moral objection to the existing doctrine's failure "to distinguish sufficiently between values and beliefs the law should and should not tolerate.
182) The VLRC thus drew a moral and legal line in the guilt phase between killings based on impermissible emotions like a desire for sexual revenge and those arising, to a large degree, from self-protection.
The abolition of provocation as a partial defense to murder constituted the centerpiece of Victoria's reforms; the state parliament implemented this VLRC proposal in the Crimes (Homicide) Act of 2005.
First, the VLRC evaluated loss of self-control as a partial excuse and concluded that, short of a completely exculpatory mental impairment, "we should expect people to control their impulses [no matter] what provocation is offered.
Rather, the VLRC final report recommended that it be considered, along with other factors, at sentencing.
201) Then, rather than introducing a separate defense for battered women who kill their abusers, the VLRC report recommended two steps--reforming self-defense law to make it more inclusive of women's experiences and adopting a partial defense of excessive self-defense to provide mitigation for defendants who honestly but unreasonably believed in the necessity of lethal action.
204) Another notable aspect of the VLRC proposal involved proportionality, which the pre-reform law in Victoria did not expressly require.
In short, the VLRC recommendations essentially proposed codifying preemptive strikes as potentially reasonable, depending on the circumstances, in cases where the deceased posed an ongoing, unlawful threat of death or serious injury to the accused.
The VLRC report described its proposed mitigating claim as the latter and conceded some inconsistency with its overall preference for leaving such matters for sentencing.
Beyond this litany of familiar crime-control objections, adding diminished responsibility to Victoria's homicide law would have negated many of the other reforms the VLRC persuaded the state parliament to adopt.
The VLRC also succeeded in convincing the Parliament of Victoria to adopt duress and necessity as defenses to murder and manslaughter in Victoria (232)--a move inconsistent with its general emphasis on eliminating partial excuses from the guilt phase.