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Defence of Provocation

The legislation which deals with Provocation is the Criminal Code Act 1913 at Section 246. It provides as follows:

A person is not criminally responsible for an assault committed upon a person who gives him provocation for the assault, if he is in fact deprived by the provocation of the power of self-control, and acts upon it on the sudden and before there is time for his passion to cool; provided that the force used is not disproportionate to the provocation, and is not intended, and is not such as is likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm.

Whether any particular act or insult is such as to be likely to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control and to induce him to assault the person by whom the act or insult is done or offered, and whether, in any particular case, the person provoked was actually deprived by the provocation of the power of self-control, and whether any force used is or is not disproportionate to the provocation, are questions of fact.

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