Legal responses to one-punch homicide in Victoria: Understanding the impact of law reform

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned Report


The adequacy or otherwise of legal responses to ‘one-punch’ homicides has animated significant debate and law reform activity in Victoria and in other Australian state and territory jurisdictions. This project is the first to critically analyse whether Victorian homicide laws enabled a just response to one-punch homicides prior to the 2014 reforms and to examine relevant stakeholder views of current legal practices and future needs for reform in this area. By combining in-depth interviews with case analysis, this research examines both the outcomes of the law (in terms of conviction and sentencing) as well as the process and practice of the law in reaching those outcomes (as garnered from the views of those within the system). This approach offers a detailed and unique assessment of the Victorian judiciary’s response to one-punch homicides within the context of the law both before and after the 2014 reforms. It engages with questions of state-wide significance and generates an evidence base to benefit legal practice and future reform in Victoria as well as in other Australian state and
territory jurisdictions and comparable international jurisdictions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Victoria
PublisherMonash University
Commissioning bodyVictorian Legal Services Board (LSBC) (trading as Legal Services Board) (Victoria)
Number of pages58
ISBN (Electronic)9780995393455
ISBN (Print)9780995393455
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2018


  • homicide law
  • one punch homicide
  • criminal law
  • single punch homicide
  • alcohol related violence
  • murder
  • manslaughter
  • law reform
  • criminology
  • criminal justice

Cite this