Publication of the week: Professor Susan Edwards

21 December 2015

Edwards, S., “The strangulation of female partners”, Criminal Law Review Crim.L.R. 2015, 12, 949-966

In England and Wales, strangulation is one of the principal methods men use to kill women in intimate relationships. Over the past three decades, this method of killing accounts for up to 37 per cent of deaths of women by male partners. Strangulation is both gender and context specific making it a high risk factor affecting the lives of women. The lack of understanding of the seriousness of strangulation, together with the legal construction of intention allows men to disavow murder and be found guilty of only unlawful act manslaughter. In most American and Australian Federal States and in Canada and New Zealand, legislation criminalises strangulation and is also an aggravating factor in sentencing in both non-fatal and fatal cases. This article makes a plea for law reform in England and Wales and a challenge to the prevailing discourse in criminal law and justice which continues to treat male body force in strangulation as less heinous than other forms of body force and weapons in fatal and non-fatal assaults against women.

The full text of the article is available via Westlaw.

Professor Susan Edwards is a researcher and campaigner and a barrister (Door Tenant, 1 Grays Inn Square, London). She is an expert witness and member of the Expert Witness Institute.  She is Dean of Law at Buckingham, and editor of the Denning Law Journal.