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Criminal Law

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International law

2004

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Defending Imminence: From Battered Women To Iraq, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2004

Defending Imminence: From Battered Women To Iraq, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

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The war against Iraq and nonconfrontational killings by battered women are two recent examples of a more general theoretical problem. The underlying question is when may a defender act in self-defense. While some nineteenth century common law cases vested the rights in the defender, arguing that it was unfair to force her to live in fear, contemporary domestic and international law cast the balance decidedly on the side of the aggressor, by forcing the defender to wait until the aggressor's attack is imminent. The Bush Administration and the battered woman simply ask whether the pendulum swung too far in the …