Self-Defence and Consent




Self-Defence is a general defence, it was lined out in the Criminal Law Act 1967. It is also a defence in common law, stating that you can use self defence for the following

a) to defend yourself

b) to defend someone else

c) to defend property

There are multiple rules that define self defence:

1) Evidence of escape is desirable (Bird, McInnes)

2) There must be an imminent threat (Malnik, AG Ref No 2 of 1983)

3) Must use appropriate force (Palmer, Owino)

4) Must not use excessive force (Clegg, Martin, Hussein)

5) Mistake is allowed (Williams, Beckford)

6) Pre-emptive strikes are allowed (Beckford)

There are a large amount of problems with the defence of self-defence, however:

-> All or nothing approach for murder, this might be too harsh.

-> Citizens and police treated differently, unfair?

-> Hard to balance the right of the homeowner against the intruder

-> The law favours the defendant

-> Not clear what reasonable force is.

-> Unfair to expect someone to use reasonable force in their scenario?


Consent is another general defence. It has three main elements to it:


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