R v Lavallee

Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date



Defences, Intoxication, Specific Intent, Offences, Murder, Attempted Murder


The trial judge's conclusion that the defence of provocation cannot transfer over from murder to attempted murder is sound both on grounds of statutory interpretation and policy. Indeed, one might wonder whether the defence was unwise to raise the argument in the first place. Provocation does reduce murder to manslaughter, but not on the basis that the accused did not have the necessary mens rea. Quite the opposite: the defence presumes that the accused did have the intent to kill, but because of the provocation was deprived of the ordinary self-control not to act on that intent.