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Loss of Self-Control in provocation

Reilly, A. Loss of Self-Control in provocation. Criminal Law Journal, 21 (6). pp. 320-335.


This article analyses the possible interpretations of the concept of a loss of self-control. It concludes from a survey of literature on the philosophy and psychology of emotion that the concept of a loss of self-control cannot have a definite meaning. The article considers the implications of this conclusion on the role that the concept of a loss of self control plays in the construction of "narratives of excuse" in the defence of provocation. It is suggested that the explanation of a loss of self control is a powerful narrative in its own right, but that it inhibits a concurrent narrative which explains the conduct of the accused person in context. The article suggests that while the focus of the defence of provocation remains on narratives of control, the defence will continue to excuse unacceptable conduct and the elements of the defence will remain obscure.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Publisher: Thomas Reuters
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