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Murder law change comes into force

Murder law change comes into force

A new murder law is now in force in England and Wales which could see victims of domestic violence argue that they were forced to kill their tormentor.

The change means that the defence of provocation is replaced by a new defence of "loss of control" caused by "a fear of serious violence" or in response to "words or conduct which caused the defendant to have a justifiable sense of being seriously wronged".

It also replaces the partial defence of diminished responsibility with a new defence based on "recognised medical conditions".

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Changes to the law on murder contained in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 have come into effect.

"These changes are based on Law Commission recommendations made in their review of homicide law in 2006 and were fully debated by Parliament and passed into law in 2009. These changes will strengthen the law and provide for more just and equitable outcomes in individual cases."

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