Have you acted in 'self-defence'?

The law surrounding self-defence is one that is easily misinterpreted given the fact that the phrase is commonly used outside a legal setting. Find out more about what to do if you find yourself in this situation here.

Have you acted in self defence?

The law surrounding self-defence is one that is easily misinterpreted given the fact that the phrase itself is commonly used outside a legal setting.

When arriving at a verdict the court will think about the types of self-defence and the stages that must be considered.

It can be lawful to assault another person in self-defence, defence of another person, defence of property or in the prevention of crime.

The next stage is to consider what was in the mind of the person using the force and whether the actions were reasonable in the circumstances. Relevant to this are factors such as mistaken belief, memory loss, whether it was genuinely held, who is inflicting the assault and who is subject to it, and whether there are others involved or an opportunity existed not to use force.

Following that, the court would consider how much force was used and whether those actions were a proportionate response. In arriving at the current legal position on this stage there have been many cases considered by the courts in which various types of self-defence issues have been argued.

Self-defence cases often involve people having to display to the court that they were an innocent party caught up in disorder and that the actions they took were necessary in the circumstances. If you find that you are the subject of unwarranted accusations of this type then contact the Criminal Litigation Department for free initial advice or email Piers Desser.


Share this article

Submit to FacebookSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

City office

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
326 Old Street
London EC1V 9DR

020 7613 1402

020 7613 2711  


West End office

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
77A Baker Street
London W1U 6RF
DX: 42722 Oxford Circus North

020 7467 5757

020 7467 5758

Manchester office

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
111 Piccadilly
Manchester M1 2HY

DX: 6967003 Manchester 94 M

0161 694 4404

0161 638 0930

Istanbul Office

Ronald Fletcher Baker Danismanlik Hizmetleri Avukatlik Ortakligi
Hakki Yeten Caddesii
Selenium Plaza, No:10 C
K:16, Fulya Sokak
Sisli, Istanbul.

07736 364222

Emergency number

07538 490647

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Company number OC345891

City office ID 512598
West End office ID 523362.
Manchester office ID 630156

V.A.T. registration number: 2206798 63VAT

"Partner" denotes a senior member of the LLP or an employee with the equivalent standing.

PII cover - QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited. For further details please contact Rakeebah Rahim

Solicitors Regulation Authority Standards and Regulations

Website design by coolgrey

Photography: Camilla Greenwell


Get a free conveyancing quote


View our privacy policy

We encourage you to contact us in the first instance if you are unhappy with the service you receive from us. Contact John O’Callaghan, the complaints partner at j.ocallaghan@rfblegal.co.uk; alternatively in some circumstances you may be able to make use of the ODR platform.