Prevention of repetition of insult s 270 Our law says



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Prevention of repetition of insult s 270 

 

 

 

Our law says 

 

 

“It is lawful for any person to use such force as is reasonably necessary 

to prevent the repetition of an act or insult of such a nature as to be 

provocation to the person for an assault, if the force used is not intended, and 

is not such as is likely, to cause death or grievous bodily harm.” 

 

Having been raised on the evidence the onus is on the prosecution to prove to 

you that the defence does not apply. 

 

The first issue you need to consider is whether there has been an act or insult 

by the complainant towards the accused of such a nature as to be provocation 

to the accused for an assault.  

 

Provocation here means the same as in relation to the actual defence of provocation.  

 

S268   “Provocation means and includes any wrongful act or insult of such a nature as to be 



likely when done to an ordinary person, to deprive the person of the power of self control, and 

to induce the person to assault the person by whom the act or insult is done or offered.”

1

 

 



Here the defence say the wrongful act or insult is the action of (                    ) by 

the complainant. The first issue you must determine is whether that action, if 

you are satisfied that it occurred, was of such a nature as to be provocation to 

the defendant for an assault.  

 

If you are of the view that it was not of such a nature – in other words that the 

prosecution have satisfied you beyond a reasonable doubt that the act or 

insult was not of such a nature as to amount to provocation in the way that I 

have explained, then this defence does not arise.  

 

If however, you are satisfied that there was a wrongful act or insult sufficient to 

amount to provocation or you are left with a reasonable doubt about the 

matter, you must go on to consider some other matters to determine whether 

the defendant’s action is excused by this defence.  

 

1.  The accused must have used such force as was reasonably necessary 

to prevent a repetition of the act or insult. That is an objective test. You 

must look at what force was reasonably necessary in the 

circumstances. Issues of proportionality are important. Was the act of (                    

) reasonably necessary to prevent a repetition of the act or insult?  

 

The force must also have been used to prevent the repetition of the act 

or insult. To negative the defence, the prosecution must prove beyond 

reasonable doubt that, based on an objective analysis of the 

circumstances revealed by the evidence, there was no reasonable 

                                                 

Benchbook – Prevention of repetition of insult 

May 2014 Amendments 

 

 

 



 

No 84A.1  



1

1

 See Provocation – Benchbook - 84 



Benchbook – Prevention of repetition of insult 

May 2014 Amendments 

 

 

 



 

No 84A.2  



2

                                                



possibility of the provocative act or insult being repeated (this does not 

require evidence that the person threatened to repeat the insult or act)

2

 

 

2.  The force used must not have been intended or not such that it was 

likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm. 

 

Grievous bodily harm means any bodily injury of such a nature that if left 

untreated would endanger or be likely to endanger life or cause or be likely to 

cause permanent injury to health. The fact that death or grievous bodily harm 

did result is not determinative of this issue. You must examine the evidence as 

to the force used by the accused in the circumstances and determine whether 

or not it was intended or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm. 

 

I remind you again that it is for the prosecution to prove to you beyond 

reasonable doubt that the defence does not apply.  

 

It is sufficient for the prosecution to succeed on the issue of “prevention of 

repetition of insult” if it proves beyond reasonable doubt one of the matters 

I’ve just referred to.  

 

Therefore: 

 

1.  If you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the act or insult done 

or offered by the complainant was not of such a nature as to be 

provocation to the accused for an assault then the assault by the 

accused would be unlawful.  

 

Or 

 

2.  If you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the force used was not 

such as was reasonably necessary in the circumstances then the 

assault would be unlawful.  

 

Or 

 

3.  If you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the force used was not 

used to prevent the repetition of the act or insult then the assault would 

be unlawful.  

 

Or 

 

4.  If you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the force used was 

intended or was such as was likely to cause death or grievous bodily 

harm then the assault would be unlawful.  

 

2



 Major [2013] QCA 114. That case also confirmed that s270 may be invoked in a charge of 

manslaughter. See also Sleep [1966] Qd R 47 at 54. 




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