Saturday, March 10, 2012

Edward Coke, on the Right to Defend

In some circumstances, by the time of Edward Coke, even the killing of a person would be justified when necessary, as an act of self-defense.

Edward Coke: “If A. assault B, so fiercely and violently, and in such a place, and in such manner, as if B. should give back, he should be in danger of his life, he may in this case defend himself; and if in that defence he killeth A. it is se defendendo, because it is not done felleo animo; so the rule is, when he doth it in his own defence, upon any inevitable cause, Quod quis ob tutelam corporis sui fecerit, jure id fecisse videtur.

~That which is done in defense of one’s body is right.~

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