Saturday, October 1, 2011

Herbert Broom on Self-Defense

Here is yet another legal scholar (whose work is, conveniently for us, in the public domain, now) concerning the natural right of self-defense:

"Under the first of the above three clauses falls the remedy by self-defence, which is founded on the right derived to us from the law of nature to repel force by force.  But although the law permits this to be done in certain cases, it behoves one who thus undertakes his own protection, or that of his dependents, not to overstep the bounds of moderation, nor use force exceeding in degree what may be necessary for effecting the end in view; for, by so doing, he may perchance constitute himself an aggressor.  The licence thus conceded, is not, however, restricted to a defence of the person merely: for the rightful owner, in peaceable possession of property, may defend such possession by force, and will be therein justified."


"So also on the principle of self-defence; for if one strikes me first, or even only assaults me, I may strike in my own defence, and if sued for it may plead son assault demesne, or that it was the plaintiff's own original assault that occasioned it.  So, likewise, in defence of my goods or possession; if a man endeavours to deprive me of them, I may justify laying hands upon him to prevent him, and, in case he persists with violence, proceed to beat him away."

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