Self/Public Defence

brief summary on self/public defenec 

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  • Created by: Trish
  • Created on: 05-01-11 13:11
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For self defence the first thing to consider is was it necessary for D to use force? For self-defence D
should always retreat if possible but the courts also consider the possible fear, adrenaline rush that D
might have experienced. The more imminent the threat to D, the more justified D is in using force (AG
Ref number 2 of nineteen eighty three) where making petrol bombs during times of riot was
acceptable. If the D brings the threat of violence upon himself, then it is not often necessary to use
force (Malnik v DPP) where D approached a known violent thief. If D makes a mistake about the
need for force, this still allows this defence to be used as long as the mistake is honest and genuine
(Williams). Secondly, the force used by D must be reasonable in those circumstances. The test for this
is, "Would a reasonable person think the force was reasonable in those circumstances?" The Jury
would consider D's physical characteristics, for example age, gender and any particular
vulnerabilities. Excessive force is shown in Martin.

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