Flashcards in Self Defence Deck (13):
Force requires a violent or percussive character.
The reasonableness of the force is determined according to the facts D thought to be true at the time of the act, excepting mistakes due to intoxication
There is no duty of safe retreat.
D is under no duty to make a departure from the scene if his presence and conduct are lawful.
Where D is the aggressor, he may become the defender if the victim responds in a wholly disproportionate way.
A-G Ref for Northern Ireland, 1977
The Test of proportionality is an broad and liberal one to be resolved without the benefit of hindsight.
D may not be able to weigh to a nicety the exact measure of his actions. It will be the most potent evidence that only reasonable force was used if the jury find that D only did what he honestly and instinctively thought was necessary in the heat of the moment
The question of proportionality is an objective one based on D's subjective perception of the circumstances.
D's physical characteristics are relevant to the proportionality test but not his psychiatric condition save in exceptional circumstances.
As long as the threat is imminent D has a right to self-defence.
The imminence requirement may be relaxed where measures falling short of actual violence are used for purposes of crime prevention.
If the threat of harm is not criminal it will probably have to encroach on D's autonomy and threaten her security of person.