The definition of murder has been expanded – but is this a step too far?
Before the 1 May 2019, a person could only be convicted of murder in Queensland if it could be shown that the person intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to a person.
Following the recent passing of the Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 on 1 May 2019, the definition of murder has since been expanded to include death caused by an act done or omission made with reckless indifference to human life.
The new definition essentially means that if a person foresees death as a probable consequence of their actions, even though it was not their intention to kill, they are considered to be just as blameworthy as a person that intended to kill another person.
The expansion of the definition is assumed to have been in response to the community’s expectations surrounding child homicides, where offenders were being convicted of manslaughter as opposed to murder because it was too difficult to establish the act of intent.
Is this amendment a step too far? Bill Potts, President of the Queensland Law Society and Founding Director of Potts lawyers, discusses in the video below.