Key Concepts in Self-Defence and the Law

You cannot be the aggressor and claim self-defence.

The use of force must be in response to a genuine threat.

The threat must be immediate or ongoing.

Past events or future possibilities do not justify self-defence.

The force used in self-defence must be no greater than necessary.

It should be directly related to the threat faced.

There is an obligation to try to avoid or withdraw from the attack if possible.

Avoidance is a reasonable and expected step before resorting to force.

Both objectively and subjectively, your conduct and perceptions in defending yourself must be reasonable.

The response to the threat should be justifiable given the circumstances.

The immediate fight for self-preservation.

 Paramount importance.

The legal aftermath that follows the physical altercation.

 Presents the greatest existential threat to your life.

All requirements of self-defence must be present for the claim to be valid.

 Failure in any element weakens the claim.

An acknowledgment of intentional use of force.

 A claim that such force was justified and necessary for self-defence.

You have the right to defend yourself and others.

This includes the use of force if necessary.

Force used must be reasonable.

No obligation to use the minimum force; only reasonable force.

Preemptive action is allowed in response to a clear and serious threat.

Gravity of the crime being prevented.

Possibility of non-violent prevention.

Readiness to try non-violent means first.

Relative strength of the parties involved.

The reasonableness of the response is judged based on the perceived situation at the time.

Fight as hard as needed.

Stop when the threat is over.

Avoid violent situations unless unavoidable.

Cease fighting when escape is possible.

Do not attack when the threat is neutralized.

Avoid excessive force, especially lethal force, except as a last resort.

Understanding these principles is crucial for anyone navigating the complex landscape of self-defence within the bounds of the law. It’s not only about protecting oneself physically but also about understanding the legal and ethical responsibilities that come with it.