Killers will lose the right to claim provocation as a defence after murderer Clayton Weatherston's attempt to smear his victim.
It is understood Justice Minister Simon Power wants the controversial defence scrapped as soon as possible and will announce his intentions today.
There's little doubt that the Weatherston case has highlighted this issue, and it may be the one good thing to come out of this dreadful business - the Dom-Post notes:
Mr Power would not be drawn yesterday on Weatherston's use of the provocation defence, as the case remains before the courts until sentencing, which is due on September 15. But he is understood to believe that allowing defendants to besmirch their victims through claims of provocation has no place in the law. He will make his position clear today, and is expected to announce details within the next few days on how the law will be scrapped.
The Law Commission urged the Government to change the law in 2007. It said in a paper that provocation could not be justified as a partial defence and would be better dealt with during sentencing. Deputy president Warren Young said yesterday that the commission maintained that view. Provocation as a defence was outdated and inappropriate.
Given that Labour's justice spokesman Charles Chauvel has already proposed similar legislation, it can be expected that there will be cross-party support for this law change, which is commendable. But most importantly, it will ensure that Sophie Ellioott's tragic death was not in vain.