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Defences Defence Of Self, Others And Property Notes

Irish BCL Notes > Irish Criminal Law Notes

This is an extract of our Defences Defence Of Self, Others And Property document, which we sell as part of our Irish Criminal Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Trinity College Dublin students.

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Self-Defence Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 s.18 (1) The use of force by a person for any of the following purposes, if only such as is reasonable in the circumstances as he or she believes them to be, does not constitute an offence:- A) to protect himself or herself or a member of the family of that person or another from injury, assault or detention caused by a criminal act, or B) to protect himself or herself or (with the authority of that other) another from trespass to the person, or C) to protect his or her property from appropriation, destruction or damage from a criminal act or trespass or infringement, or D) to protect property belonging to another from appropriation, destruction or damage from a criminal act, or trespass or infringement, or E) to prevent the crime of a breach of the peace People v Keatley (CCA 1953) Facts

* The accused was convicted of manslaughter after he attacked a man in defence of his brother and killed him.

* The judge directed that he could only avail of the defence of defending another if a felony rather than a misdemeanour were committed against that person. Issue

* Self-Defence - Defence of another Judgment (Maguire CJ)

* Defence of another is a defence to a crime, even where the crime that one is defending the other from is a misdemeanour.

* One can not avail of this offence where the act is carried out with a motive other than defence - e.g. revenge, spite or a desire to fight.

* On the evidence, it would be open to the jury to hold that the accused had used no more force than was necessary to defend his brother from assault.

* The use of force is lawful for the defence of oneself, of another or of property but the justification is limited by the necessity of the occasion and the use of unnecessary force is an assault. People v Dwyer (SC 1971) Facts

* The accused was convicted of murder having entered the defence of justifiable force.

* He had used a knife during the course of fight which occurred after he had been attacked by two men. Issue Judgment

* O Dalaigh CJ (concurring - agreed with Butler J)

* Walsh J (concurring)

* In the case of full self-defence an acquittal may be secured even though it was the intention of the accused to kill or cause serious injury - the defence of self-defence allows the use of such force as is reasonably necessary up to and including killing.

* Where the defence has been raised, it is for the prosecution to show that the

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