A partial defence of "killing in an abusive domestic relationship'' was added to the Criminal Code and goes beyond the present defences of provocation and self-defence.
The clause will provide battered partners some immunity in court and give judges greater discretion when sentencing on the charge of murder.
Attorney-General Cameron Dick said Queensland was the first Australian state to provide the partial defence.
The amendment included safeguards to ensure it only applied to those who had suffered severe domestic violence leading up to the killing, he said.
In order for the defence to apply, accused people will have to prove they had been in an abusive domestic relationship and the person they killed had committed acts of serious domestic violence against them during the relationship.
At the time of the killing, the accused must have believed their acts were necessary to avoid death or grievous bodily harm and that there were reasonable grounds for this belief.
Mr Dick said the changes marked an important step in the protection of Queenslanders' rights and recognised the need to provide legal protection to "genuine victims'' of domestic abuse.
"Research reviewed during the development process found that victims of seriously abusive relationships often commit offences in circumstances that fall outside existing defences, such as self-defence and provocation,'' Mr Dick said.
"This defence will be available for victims of serious domestic violence where all the necessary criteria for its use have been met.
"It doesn't excuse victims but it does broaden the court's sentencing options.
"The defence is framed in a way that will ensure it is reserved for genuine victims and not misused.
"This represents a balance between necessarily punishing those who would otherwise be guilty of murder while providing some legal protection for victims of serious abuse.''
The state government put the provocation defence under review in 2007 after a Gold Coast man charged with murdering his girlfriend in a fit of jealous rage argued he was provoked and was convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The government consulted the Queensland Law Reform Commission, academics and other key stakeholders in the judiciary, the legal profession and the community when drafting the law, Mr Dick said.
The Criminal Code (Abusive Domestic Relationship Defence and Another Matter) Amendment Bill 2009 also includes amendments to increase protection against identity theft by creating the new offence of possessing equipment for the purpose of obtaining or dealing with identification information.
commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Its only too easy to bring new legislation with idealistic but naive goals of
treating criminal cases justly without any real logical thinking of how to deal
with the root cause and more importantly what prejudice the new legislation
brings with it.
Firstly, this legislation is a virtual license to kill, and its unspoken assumption is that this will be used by women when killing their husbands.
Domestic abuse is not just violence, it can be verbal, constant yelling in the ears, from waking up to attempting to go to sleep, derogatory comments to the children about the space, constant degradation, that every and anything a spouse does is stupid with endless continued escalation.
That begs the question WHY do spouses become the classic example of an abused spouse?
Male or Female its because ONE person holds the power.
Its that power that needs to be addressed and Australia did a fantastic job of addressing one root cause by a legal presumption of equal parenting.
Now, the Government wishes to remove any resemblance of that legal presumption and recreate for women that power to hold over men to force them to remain in highly abusive relationships for the sole reason of being able to provide their children with love and affection, the child's right.
Australians need to remember that a child's right to equal parenting promises to be the number one issue for the next election, that is if the government is so stupid to back that appears to them, in their folly, as a politically correct move.