Partial Defenses of Criminal Cases: Case Study of Battered Woman Syndrome Comparing English and Thai Law

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Pawinee Praithong


Nowadays, many cases of women killing her husbands because of domestic violence have been found. In each case, the wife often claimed that she was stressed caused by the abusive husband for a long time. At a court trial, she defensed with self-defense or provocation under the Thai Criminal Law Article 68 and 72 respectively, but stress symptom has never been considered in the case. Many countries, such as USA, Australia, Canada and England, medically call such symptom themselves ‘Battered Woman Syndrome’ (BWS). There are cases where these women defensed herself with BWS. In England, BWS has been accepted as a criminal partial defense of the defendants killing husbands. It could be self-defense, loss of self-control (provocation) or diminished responsibility.

          After comparing the Thai law and English law regarding BWS, there are several differences such as legal system, legal methods, criminal law structure, self-defense and provocation. Even though they are incompatible and inapplicable, the author suggested that Thai law should reconsider the broad interpretation of the provocation under article 72 to cover cumulative provocation according to BWS as English law.


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Praithong, Pawinee. “Partial Defenses of Criminal Cases: Case Study of Battered Woman Syndrome Comparing English and Thai Law”. Naresuan University Law Journal 10, no. 1 (June 28, 2017): 115-139. Accessed March 9, 2021.
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