Monday, September 26, 2011

Self-Defense Law in Canada

Self-Defense is one of the most controversial of all the possible law problems mostly because it is usually hard to define when it self defense and when not. In Canada self-defense is defined in the Canadian Criminal Code. In the common law tradition self-defense is the right for civilians acting on their own behalf to engage in violence for the sake of defending one's own life or the lives of others. It can include the use of deadly force in some countries, but in Canada it must be not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm, except for situations when it is caused under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes and if the assaulted person believes that he or she cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm. Mostly self-defense must be limited to the so called reasonable force and defining the reasonable force for a situation is the first problem. Even in Canada it differs from area to area. Mostly this term is defined as the minimal force required to prevent an assault from occurring. The term force includes not only direct force but also verbal de-escalation, posturing and removing yourself from potentially violent situation. If it comes to direct use of force the force must be limited only to stop the assault, it does not includes punishing the assailant or seeking revenge after the assault occurred. Also the type of assault is important, if you are assaulted with a firearm, you can use a firearm for self-defense. Everything can be different depending on the situation, so the best thing that we can recommend is to be aware of the self-defense limitations in your area.

Another type of self-defense is a defense o property still it is not very much supported by the Canadian Criminal Code. The Code provides following separate rules of law for the defense of property. Every person who is in possession of personal property, and every one lawfully assisting him, has the right to prevent a trespasser from taking it, or in taking it from another trespasser who has taken it, if during the taking he will not cause bodily harm to the trespasser. Still when the owner of property lays hands on it, a trespasser who tries to keep it or take it from owner or from person who is lawfully assisting the owner is viewed as committing an assault without justification or provocation. In that case the owner or every one who is lawfully assisting him is protected from criminal responsibility for defending that possession. Also the owner and a person who is lawfully assisting his is justified to use as much force as is necessary to prevent any person from forcibly breaking into or forcibly entering the owners dwelling-house without lawful authority. In all that case the force that can be used is limited to not more than necessary.

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