Self Defence – when does it apply?

There is a common perception that you can act in Self-Defence of yourself and /or others when there is danger present.

Whilst this is true you must be aware of just when and how you can claim Self-Defence.

The law in NSW states Self-Defence is available only if the person believes the conduct is necessary-

1. to defend himself or herself or another person, or
2. to prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of his or her liberty or the liberty of another person, or
3. to protect property from unlawful taking, destruction, damage or interference, or
4. to prevent criminal trespass to any land or premises or to remove a person committing any such criminal trespass,

and the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as he or she perceives them.

There are 2 questions to answer YES to for a finding of Self-Defence at Law.

Question 1 was your conduct necessary?
This considers your personal attributes such as: –
• Age
• Sex
• Mental/physical impairment
• What you know about the person you are defending yourself against ie: history of violence etc….
• Your level of intoxication
• Your personnel perception of the matter given the situation at the time

Once this is all considered the answer must be you were in fear AND the fear was of immediate danger.

Question 2 was your response reasonable?
Exactly what is reasonable is where most of the law is focused. Reasonable is seen as a reasonable person. Personal attributes are not the key in the second question. Instead it will focus on the proportionality of your response.

To satisfy question 2 the reasonableness of your response will align with what a reasonable person would also do given the danger and circumstances

Only if the answer to both questions 1 and 2 is YES will a defence of Self-Defence succeed.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offence and you believe you acted in Self-Defence, contact Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers ® for a free initial consultation.


Post Comment