One-punch Laws, Mandatory Minimums and ‘Alcohol-Fuelled’ as an Aggravating Factor: Implications for NSW Criminal Law

Abstract

This article critically examines the New South Wales State Government’s latest policy response to the problem of alcohol-related violence and anxiety about ‘one punch’ killings: the recently enacted Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment (Assault and Intoxication) Act 2014 (NSW). Based on an analysis of both the circumstances out of which it emerged, and the terms in which the new offences of assault causing death and assault causing death while intoxicated have been defined, I argue that the Act represents another example of criminal law ‘reform’ that is devoid of principle, produces a lack of coherence in the criminal law and, in its operation, is unlikely to deliver on the promise of effective crime prevention in relation to alcohol-fuelled violence.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2014-04-02
Pages:81 to 106
Section:Articles
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Author Biography

Julia Quilter is an Associate Professor and member of the Legal Intersections Research Centre, School of Law, University of Wollongong, Australia. Her research focuses on criminal law and criminal justice issues, including alcohol-related violence, one punch laws, public order, homelessness, fines & sexual violence.