Killings following domestic abuse: public opinion, law reform and the future direction of Scots law

McPherson, R. (2023) Killings following domestic abuse: public opinion, law reform and the future direction of Scots law. Juridical Review, 2023(2), pp. 97-112.

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Very little research has been conducted around public perceptions of Scots law and no work in the UK has examined public views on cases where women kill following domestic abuse, despite similar work being carried out in other jurisdictions. This work presents the first UK study offering insight into public understanding and perceptions on cases of this nature. Such cases have particular significance given that they account for one of the most common contexts in which women kill both within Scotland and internationally, and given that the Scottish Law Commission has recently discussed whether there is a need for a new defence for those who kill following domestic abuse. Against this background, this paper presents results from an exploratory study carried out in 2021 and concludes that there exists discrepancy between how cases of this type are currently responded to in law and public opinion on how such cases should be responded to, and that there exists support for law reform in this area. These results are highly significant and have implications for law reform within Scotland, and further afield, whist also having broader implications in terms of women’s access to justice in the context of homicide.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McPherson, Dr Rachel
Authors: McPherson, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Juridical Review
Publisher:Sweet and Maxwell
ISSN (Online):0022-6785
Published Online:27 July 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 Sweet and Maxwell
First Published:First published in Juridical Review 2023(2):97-112
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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