Justice Minister says 'right safeguards' need to be in place for abuse victims to claim self defence

Abuse victims who murder their abuser should be able to argue self defence, according to a Law Commission report just out, and the Justice Minister agrees.

There are calls for a law change allowing sufferers who murder their abusers to argue self-defence. Source: 1 NEWS

The Law Commission looked at 24 different cases, in 10 of those trials the accused domestic violence victim claimed they killed their abuser in self defence.

Only three were acquitted, leading Lead Commissioner Dr Wayne Mapp to believe the justice system has failed those found guilty of manslaughter.

Dr Mapp says there is a lack of understanding of how self defence can apply.

"These are situations of desperation."

Justice Minister Amy Adams agrees the current self defence law isn't perfect, only acquitting those that appeared to be in imminent danger. 

Ms Adams says yesterday's report has got her thinking. 

"Clearly it's a big departure from the law as it currently stands," she says.

"We would have to be very sure that the right safeguards were in place."