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  • Created by: rachel
  • Created on: 08-06-14 09:44

Self-Defence and Prevention of Crime

  • Defence of oneself
  • "another person
  • "property
  • Prevention of crime (Criminal Law Act)

Can be used for all offences, = acquittal if successful.

Prevention of Crime- S3(1) Criminal Law Act- a person can use force to prevent crime or assisting a lawful arrest.

Self Defence

D must be acting to prevent a crime (DPP v Bayer)

1). Was it necessary to use force? AND

2). Was the force used reasonable?


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Self-Defence and Prevention of Crime 2

  • Was the threat imminent? D will only be justified in reacting to an imminent threat, although this does not mean he has to wait to be attacked.

Beckford- (Lord Griffiths)- 'a man about to be attacked does not need to wait for his assailant to strike the first blow or fire the first shot- the circumstances may justify a preemptive strike'.

AG's Reg (No 2 of 1983)- D feared attack so made petrol bombs.

Malnik v DPP-  Had created a dangerous situation, there was no imminent threat.

Rashford- Even if D is the initial aggressor in a fight, he can still rely on self-defence if the other party responds with disproportionate force.

  • Should D have retreated?

McInnes- The Court of Appeal said that a person is not obliged to retreat but it may be evidence.

Bird- It is not necessary to show a reluctance to fight, there are circumstances where D might react immediately without first retreating.

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Self-Defence and Prevention of Crime 3

  • Did D honestly believe that his action was justified?

William (Gladstone)- D will be judged on the basis of what he thought was happening (ie mistaken honest belief), rather than on the basis of what is actually happening.

2). (objective). -Beckford, Bird, Palmer- a person defending himself cannot weigh up to a nicety the measure of his ….defensive action.

Cross v Kirby- Disabling force can be justified if there could be further attack.

Clegg- Force used was excessive

Martin-  Shooting V in the back to protect property was NOT reasonable force.

Hussain- Force used in retaliation/revenge will not be reasonable.

Self defence with Intoxication

O'Grady- A drunken mistake will never be reasonable.

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