defence of one's person (or depending on the context, other persons or property) against criminal charges or tortious or delictual claims.
In English law a self-defence is a defence to criminal charges. The defence can be of persons other than oneself: R v . Williams (1984) Cr. App. R 276. Defence of property is also sufficient: R v . Hussey (1924) 18 Cr. App. R 160. Only such force as is necessary may be used.
In the criminal law of Scotland, a special defence of which notice must be given that can justify homicide or assault. There must be fear to life or a fear of rape. There should be no possibility of escape, and the defence must not itself amount to cruel excess, as where a punch is answered with a dagger blow. The concept has recently been applied in relation to breach of the peace.
In the law of tort and delict, self-defence is a defence against a civil action for assault. See provocation.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • self-defence — self de fence BrE self defense AmE n [U] 1.) something you do to protect yourself or your property in self defence ▪ He shot him in self defence. 2.) skills that you learn to protect yourself if you are attacked …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • self-defence — ► NOUN ▪ the defence of oneself or one s interests, especially the defence of one s person through physical force, permitted in certain cases as an answer to a charge of violent crime. DERIVATIVES self defensive adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • Self-defence — Self de*fence , n. See {Self defense}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • self-defence — (BrE) (AmE self defense) noun ADJECTIVE ▪ collective ▪ legitimate VERB + SELF DEFENCE ▪ learn ▪ The women learn self defence to protect themselves …   Collocations dictionary

  • self-defence — n. BE; AE spelling: self defense 1) in self defence (to kill smb. in self defence) 2) the art of self defence * * * [ˌselfdɪ fens] the art of self defence in self defence (to kill smb. in self defence) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • self-defence — (in AM, use self defense) 1) N UNCOUNT: usu with supp, oft in/of N Self defence is the use of force to protect yourself against someone who is attacking you. Richards claimed he acted in self defence after Pagett opened fire on him during a siege …   English dictionary

  • self-defence — UK / US noun [uncountable] 1) actions that you take or force that you use in order to protect yourself in self defence: Margaret claims she was acting in self defence when she shot him. 2) fighting skills that you can use to defend yourself from… …   English dictionary

  • self-defence — n. 1 an aggressive act, speech, etc., intended as defence (had to hit him in self defence). 2 (usu. the noble art of self defence) boxing. Derivatives: self defensive adj …   Useful english dictionary

  • self-defence — BrE, self defense AmE noun (U) 1 something you do to protect yourself or your property: in self defence (=to protect yourself): I swear, I shot him in self defense. 2 skills that you learn to protect yourself if you are attacked: a self defence… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • self-defence — savigyna statusas T sritis Kūno kultūra ir sportas apibrėžtis Savęs gynimas. atitikmenys: angl. self defence vok. Selbstschutz, m; Selbstverteidigung, f rus. самозащита …   Sporto terminų žodynas

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