Victorian Current Acts

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CRIMES ACT 1958 - SECT 336

Marital coercion

    (1)     Any presumption that an offence committed by a wife in the presence of her husband is committed under his coercion is hereby abolished.

S. 336(2) amended by No. 77/2005 s. 9.

    (2)     Where a woman is charged with an offence other than treason or murder, that woman shall have a complete defence to such charge if her action or inaction (as the case may be) was due to coercion by a man to whom she was then married.

    (3)     For the purposes of this section "coercion" means pressure, whether in the form of threats or in any other form, sufficient to cause a woman of ordinary good character and normal firmness of mind, placed in the circumstances in which the woman was placed, to conduct herself in the manner charged.

    (4)     Without limiting the generality of the expression "the circumstances in which the woman was placed" in subsection (3), such circumstances shall include the degree of dependence, whether economic or otherwise, of the woman on her husband.

    (5)     The accused shall bear the burden of adducing evidence that she conducted herself in the manner charged because she was coerced by her husband, but if such evidence has been adduced, the prosecution shall bear the burden of proving that the action or inaction charged was not due to coercion by the husband.

    (6)     This section shall operate in substitution for the common law as to any presumption or defence of marital coercion.

    (7)     This section shall not affect the law relating to the defence of duress.

New s. 337 inserted by No. 9073 s. 2(b).

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