The government has announced proposals to change the law on murder, including a new defence for people who kill after suffering domestic abuse. In exceptional cases, defendants who successfully claim that they were "seriously wronged" by the "words and conduct" of the victim could now be convicted of manslaughter, rather than murder. Long-term domestic abuse sufferers will also be able to use a partial defence of "fear of serious violence". The proposals face public consultation before new legislation is introduced.
Not being a criminal lawyer, I can't comment on the proposals. They seem to be generally welcomed, although I noted that Erin Pizzey, founder of the first refuge for battered wives in 1971, indicated on the BBC's Breakfast Programme this morning that she felt the changes were unnecessary, as she said that most women who kill their abusers do not go to prison under the present law.