Infanticide in the New Zealand Crimes Act and the Inequality Males Face
This dissertation looks at section 178 of the Crimes Act 1961 – Infanticide. The provisions of this section are outdated and no longer fit for purpose. The central theme is that this offence should be gender neutral, as males, as well as females, may suffer from the same antenatal and postnatal physiological and psychological effects. This legislative provision is discriminatory to males and contributes to the continuing inequities that males face in relation to the criminal law.
The element of lactation is discussed and it is recommended that this is removed. Lactation is identified as not being gender specific. It is proposed that the legislation is amended to reflect the now known causes of disturbance of the mind and the fact that this is not a gender specific condition in relation to the effects individuals may suffer as a result of pregnancy or the birth of a child. It is further argued that the “disturbance of the mind” element should be defined within the Act and must be a more than a trivial diagnosis. This means something more than “baby blues” and this is to ensure that this legislation is being utilised appropriately. Lastly, there is the need for the legislation to be amended in relation to the age of the child that may be the victim of infanticide. The current age of the victim can be a child up to the age of ten years old. It is proposed that this is reduced to 12 months of age.
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Infanticide – The Crimes Act New Zealand – Inequity for Males – Men _Bad_ Women _Mad_ 2021