The Defense of Provocation: a Critical Analysis of the Extent of its Application to women in Zambia

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Mulele, Etambuyu
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The main aim of this research paper is to critically analyze the extent to which the defense applies to the female offender who pleads it. The overall objective as such is to highlight the challenges women face, in particular those who are victims of domestic violence when they rely on the defense.Research that has been undertaken shows that there is an express provision in the Penal Code governing the defense of provocation. This particular provision is meant to apply equally to both males and females. An inherent malfunction of this provision is however evident in its application to female offenders who have been victims of continuous domestic violence and abuse. Firstly, the defense appears to be a male defense owing to certain requirements that have to be satisfied in terms of the loss of self-control. It has been observed that the statutory provision on provocation does not take into account the realities of women who are victims of continuous domestic violence in the event that they plead the defense. This is because the law assumes that women who kill under such circumstances form a pre-meditated intention to actually kill. This essentially means that in its practical application, the defense appears to be gender-biased. This assumption thus raises the fundamental question of whether the law on provocation in Zambia applies equally to both men and women.The research paper has also proposed changes in some areas of concern and weakness in as far as the defense of provocation is concerned. These recommendations are that the statutory law on provocation be amended to include aspects of domestic violence where a woman pleads provocation. Furthermore, the law should be amended to expressly include cumulative provocation so that women can have a clear statutory basis for the defense. Efforts should also be made to ensure that all law enforcement officers be enlightened on the aspects of domestic violence and their relation to the defense of cumulative provocation so that they may be aware of the realities of women who find themselves in these situations
Provocation(criminal law)-Women-Zambia , Women(law)-Zambia