Law change could see abused wives escape murder conviction

Controversial law change sees infidelity fall as a defence for men, while domestic violence qualifies as a defence for women.

A change in the law concerning the abolition of infidelity as a defence for murder will come into effect at the beginning of October.

The abolition is the work of Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman who claims the current law is biased in favour of men.

The existing law recognises adultery as a serious wrong and thus if a husband kills a wife there is a partial defence if she was involved in an affair. This defence will no longer protect husbands who murder their wives in crimes of passion.

Another controversial change will allow wives who kill their husbands in cold blood to escape the conviction of murder if it can be proved that the murder was in response to domestic abuse.

The change follows complaints from women’s rights campaigners that battered wives were not being treated fairly by the law.

The coalition government cannot stop the change, despite Attorney General Dominic Grieve condemning the plan as more about ‘political correctness and posturing, rather than sound criminal justice.’

A Ministry of Justice spokesman last night defended the changes saying, ‘these are important provisions that were debated fully by Parliament and passed into law.’

Both laws are due to come in to force next week.

Do you agree that changes needed to be made to better the criminal justice system? Do you think the current law is biased towards women? Perhaps you think the changes have swung the balance too far in the opposite direction?

Whatever your thoughts, however extreme, Marie Claire wants to hear from you by posting a message below.

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