This Options Paper outlines the findings of the Commission’s study of homicide prosecutions
including what the study told us about the contexts in which homicide occurs and also the success rates
of particular defences. The paper explains and discusses defences and partial excuses to homicide
including self-defence, mental impairment, diminished responsibility and infanticide. The paper sets
out a number of options for reform in relation to each defence as well as suggesting a number of
procedural changes that could be implemented in place of or as well as reform to actual defences.
Reforms to the law are discussed against the background of information about the contexts in which
homicides occur in Victoria and the frequency with which particular defences are raised.