B1447 – Self-Defence Bill 2019 Watch

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Saracen's Fez
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B1447 – Self-Defence Bill 2019, TSR Libertarian Party
Self-Defence Bill 2019

A bill to allow citizens to use any level of force to defend themselves

BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1. Level of Force
(1) An individual may use any level of force (with the exception of deadly force) to defend themselves, or another, if they honestly and reasonably believe they face, or another individual faces, an imminent threat of serious bodily harm, death or rape.

(i) This applies to any place, public or private.

(ii) This applies only where the individual in question has a legal right to be in that private or public place.

(2) An individual who is not engaged in the commission of a crime may use deadly force against another individual if the individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent serious bodily harm, death or rape of themselves or another individual.

(i) This applies to any place, public or private.

(ii) This applies only where the individual in question has a legal right to be in that private or public place.

2. Short title, Commencement, Extent
(1) This act may be cited as the Self-Defence Act 2019
(2) This act comes into force upon Royal Assent
(3) This act extends to the UK


Notes
People should have the right use whatever force is necessary to protect themselves from danger. What this bill does is permit for a lawful excuse where defendants have used a level of force which currently may fall outside the scope of the current defence of self-defence, where the threat to them is serious.

The current law
At present, the defence of self-defence can be relied upon where the defendant has used force for the purposes of: defending themselves or another from an actual or imminent attack, the defence of property, the prevention of crime or to conduct a lawful arrest. The force used must be deemed necessary and reasonable in the circumstances.

However, this does not allow for defendants in situations such as the defendants in R v Clegg and R v Martin (Anthony Edwards) to rely on this defence.

Private Clegg had been on duty at a road checkpoint in Northern Ireland in the 1990s - before the peace settlement - when a car approached at high speed. He and a few other soldiers shot at it resulting in Clegg killing a female in the backseat. The people in the car were discovered to be joyriders, and Clegg could not rely on self-defence because the car had already passed him at the time of the shot which resulted in the death, meaning neither he nor anyone else was in danger by that time.

Tony Martin lived in a house in a remote area and which has previously been burgled. He was woken by someone entering his property. He fired into the darkness and killed a sixteen-year-old boy. His plea of self-defence was rejected as the boy was fleeing at the time and so the force was held to be unreasonable. There has long since been criticism of this outcome.

This bill would not necessarily affect the outcome of the Martin case (since it is doubtful he could prove he had reasonable belief in an imminent threat of serious bodily harm, death or rape), but the example serves to show how the ‘reasonable force’ requirement can leave defendants perhaps unfairly without lawful excuse. It is also to be noted that the law was changed by the coalition government in 2013 to allow any level of force not deemed ‘grossly disproportionate’ when it comes to defending people within a dwelling, though it has been noted that in practice this makes very little difference. This bill therefore attempts to make the difference that the 2013 Act failed to make, and additionally makes it useable in all the places where the person using the force has a legal right to be.

Current law:Partial defence to murder: loss of control

(1)Where a person (“D”) kills or is a party to the killing of another (“V”), D is not to be convicted of murder if—

(i) D's acts and omissions in doing or being a party to the killing resulted from D's loss of self-control,

(ii) The loss of self-control had a qualifying trigger, and

(iii) A person of D's sex and age, with a normal degree of tolerance and self-restraint and in the circumstances of D, might have reacted in the same or in a similar way to D.
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Saunders16
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I support this bill. Although I do not wish to make weapons more accessible, there should be more room for courts to be able to judge the actions of defendants as reasonable if they see fit. The current situation is problematic and offers punishments to those who do not require them and I will be voting for this if it goes to a vote.
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ns_2
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At first glance, I do support this Bill - however, can I confirm that this not repeal Section 3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 - i.e. does this Bill negate the use of deadly force as a last resort?
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Stiff Little Fingers
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I fail to see why the authors think, given the notes, that killing a person fleeing (The Martin case) or leaving (the clegg case) should be defendable as appropriate force. Absolutely cannot support this in any form - the current restrictions requiring reasonable force are appropriate.
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Connor27
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Aye - it should be perfectly legal to use deadly force when defending ones’ own property.
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keepholtingon
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lmao
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Concited
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Could the Libertarian party have another crack at justifying this senseless piece of legislation?
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Connor27
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(Original post by Concited)
Could the Libertarian party have another crack at justifying this senseless piece of legislation?
People should be allowed to do what they want on their own property, end of justification.
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SoggyCabbages
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Nay in its current form, my take on this issue was much better many parliaments ago.

Deadly force should not be exempted if one genuinely fears for the life of themself or others.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by ns_2)
At first glance, I do support this Bill - however, can I confirm that this not repeal Section 3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967 - i.e. does this Bill negate the use of deadly force as a last resort?
That provision would remain in force.

(Original post by Stiff Little Fingers)
I fail to see why the authors think, given the notes, that killing a person fleeing (The Martin case) or leaving (the clegg case) should be defendable as appropriate force. Absolutely cannot support this in any form - the current restrictions requiring reasonable force are appropriate.
In the Martin case, this bill would likely not cover the defendant but would in the Clegg case. At least, that is the intention.

(Original post by Connor27)
Aye - it should be perfectly legal to use deadly force when defending ones’ own property.
That's not what this bill does....
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Jarred
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Nay, I’m confident enough in the current legislation to judge this fairly. I think it’s quite telling that the two examples don’t sound very much like self defense at all.
(Original post by Connor27)
People should be allowed to do what they want on their own property, end of justification.
Great but how does that explain one of the two example justifications of this bill - shooting at a car on a publicly owned road?

Also should a person really be able to do anything on their property or do you mean that figuratively? Presumably you don’t think a person should be allowed to invite someone to their house and then kill and eat them for dinner. So there at least needs to be more nuance to this than just “muh property rights”.
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London090
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It's an Aye from me People have the right to defend themselves if in danger and it shouldn't be a crime to protect yourself or your property.
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ns_2
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
That's not what this bill does....
Many thanks for the confirmation.
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Saunders16
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For those who agree with the principle of making it easier to defend one's property and wellbeing, are there better ways the authors could implement this bill?
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Saunders16)
For those who agree with the principle of making it easier to defend one's property and wellbeing, are there better ways the authors could implement this bill?
Quite possibly. I am a little concerned that my colleagues are fixating on property rights in this debate, when what this bill does is more expansive than that.
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ns_2
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
Quite possibly. I am a little concerned that my colleagues are fixating on property rights in this debate, when what this bill does is more expansive than that.
Correct me if I'm wrong... this Bill doesn't even cover property rights.
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by ns_2)
Correct me if I'm wrong... this Bill doesn't even cover property rights.
You could rely on this bill if you were defending yourself on your property, but it also applies to anywhere you have the lawful right to be.
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
You could rely on this bill if you were defending yourself on your property, but it also applies to anywhere you have the lawful right to be.
Except people are already able to defend themselves under current law with sensible provisions in place. Causing injury or even death is something people are able to justify so long as the force was reasonably used in self-defence or in protection of others. What is the purpose of this bill?

And, if your leader is correct, why would you not permit deadly force? If you're going to meddle with our laws under uber-Libertarian pretences, why not do it right?

Also, it's shocking your Deputy Leader (London090) intends to go to division thinking no laws on self-defence exist.

I urge all members to vote emphatically against this monstrosity!
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by Concited)
Except people are already able to defend themselves under current law with sensible provisions in place. Causing injury or even death is something people are able to justify so long as the force was reasonably used in self-defence or in protection of others. What is the purpose of this bill?

And, if your leader is correct, why would you not permit deadly force? If you're going to meddle with our laws under uber-Libertarian pretences, why not do it right?

Also, it's shocking your Deputy Leader (London090) intends to go to division thinking no laws on self-defence exist.

I urge all members to vote emphatically against this monstrosity!
Deadly force is permitted so long as the individual honestly and reasonably it is necessary for preventing the imminent serious bodily harm, death or rape of themselves or another individual.
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
Deadly force is permitted so long as the individual honestly and reasonably it is necessary for preventing the imminent serious bodily harm, death or rape of themselves or another individual.
Poor form what with addressing only one detail. Could you now address the rest of my response, please?
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