2017 Winner of the Capstone Editing Research Scholarship for Honours Students
We are very proud to present Ms Hayley Gould as the 2017 recipient of the Capstone Editing Research Scholarship for Honours Students.
Her topic is an admirable area of research both in terms of its level of difficulty and its importance to the community. She is conducting research on the relatively new family violence self-defence provisions in Victoria and analysing whether they adequately recognise battered woman who kill in the context of family violence.
Hayley is an extremely hard worker and very diligent, and a woman of great strength, compassion and intelligence. She has a long history of volunteering with organisations such as St Vincent de Paul and Blessings Bags, which is a Melbourne-based initiative aimed at assisting people in need (mainly the homeless and marginalised). You can support Blessings Bags by liking their Facebook page or getting involved.
Hayley plans to use the funds from the scholarship to purchase a laptop and books she requires for her research. As she lives in a semi-rural part of Victoria, Hayley will also be using the funds to cover some of her travel costs to university, and to help cover her living expenses so she can continue to volunteer at a local law firm where she is working with solicitors practising in family law and criminal law to gain insight into family violence and the self-defence provisions relevant to her thesis.
We are so happy that Capstone Editing can play a role in supporting such an outstanding member of the academic community. We are pleased to be able to showcase Hayley’s important research here.
‘Do the family violence self-defence provisions in Victoria adequately accommodate for battered women who kill in the context of domestic violence?’
In 2014, the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) was amended to abolish defensive homicide and consequently introduced section 322M to enable family violence to be considered in cases involving self-defence. This thesis discusses why Australia needs particular defences in the criminal justice system in relation to the rule of law, and specifically examines whether the section 322M amendment adequately accommodates for battered women who kill in the context of family violence. It investigates the legislative history of homicide reform in Victoria and explores the gendered effects of these reforms. This thesis objectively analyses the previous reform strategies and also addresses some changes that might alter the course of the concerned provisions. The reality of many women experiencing domestic violence is often not reflected in the drafting of legislation. A statutory recognition of battered woman syndrome (BWS) may be the solution to redress deficiencies in the interpretation of the self-defence provisions. This thesis aims to determine whether the use of BWS in the criminal system belittles the criminal responsibility of women or whether different levels of culpability for battered women are necessary for just outcomes. It explores the notion of equity in the criminal justice system and concludes that in order for the law to be equitable, certain remedies and mitigating circumstances must be available for battered women who kill after being subjected to a prolonged period of acute battering.