John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
 

Reasonable Force


We are still stuck with the issue of defining what is "reasonable force". What I think it "reasonable" the tories may think is "grossly disproportionate". That is where the problem lies.

The law clearly needs to be changed to identify what sort of force is allowed to be used in:

  1. Defending yourself
  2. Defending your home
  3. Defending others.

The current system is fraught with confusion as it is a matter of judgement as to what is "reasonable".

The CPS may have issued "guidance", but that is insufficient. We need clarity. Such clarity needs a public debate.

Roman Law is interesting and clear.

For example in table 12:
12. A person committing burglary in the night may be lawfully killed.
13. A thief in the daytime may not be killed unless he carried a weapon . . . .

Personally I would feel that is beyond "reasonable force". However, we do need some definition of what is "reasonable force". I believe the French rule is that if a burglar uses violence then they do so at the risk of their own life. Now that is something which perhaps is a "reasonable" position. I have tried to rummage out the French position on the web (my French is passable) without any luck.

This gives a better analysis of the Twelve tables. This includes the following phrase:
"The laws of France and Italy excuse the homicide of an intruder who commits burglary or theft with violence. (Code Pénal de France, III, II, Arts. 322, 329.) (Codice Penale, II, III, Art. 376.)"
I have not been able to check the validity of that phrase, but it seems that it gives a start in resolving this dilemma.


 
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