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Self-defense

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Failed Promises: Stand Your Ground's Removal Of Imminence Leads To Inconsistent Application And Decreased Safety, Nichole Hamsher Apr 2022

Failed Promises: Stand Your Ground's Removal Of Imminence Leads To Inconsistent Application And Decreased Safety, Nichole Hamsher

Akron Law Review

Self-defense, while universally recognized as a natural human right, embodies a complex set of scenarios that hinges on the level, place, and imminence of a threat to life. The modern expansion of self-defense laws, namely Stand Your Ground, allows for a wholly subjective anticipation of a threat by removing the duty to retreat, and withdraws both criminal and civil accountability. Such expansion has not afforded increased protection to those who need to use force in self-defense, such as domestic abuse victims, nor has it lowered crime rates, but actually works against such victims and increased homicide rates while not deterring …


Firearms And Initial Aggressors, Cynthia Lee Jan 2022

Firearms And Initial Aggressors, Cynthia Lee

GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works

Under the initial aggressor doctrine, an “initial aggressor” loses the right to claim self-defense. Until recently, judges, legal scholars, and others have paid relatively little attention to this doctrinal limitation on the defense of self-defense. Two high-profile criminal trials in 2021 put the initial aggressor doctrine front and center of the national conversation on issues concerning self-defense and racial justice. One involved Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old teenager who brought an AR-15 style rifle to Kenosha, Wisconsin during the third night of racial protests in August 2020, and ended up shooting three men, killing two and injuring the third. The other …


Police Use Of Force Laws In Texas, Gerald S. Reamey Sep 2021

Police Use Of Force Laws In Texas, Gerald S. Reamey

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming.


The State's Monopoly Of Force And The Right To Bear Arms, Robert Leider Aug 2021

The State's Monopoly Of Force And The Right To Bear Arms, Robert Leider

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Future Of The Second Amendment In A Time Of Lawless Violence, Nelson Lund Aug 2021

The Future Of The Second Amendment In A Time Of Lawless Violence, Nelson Lund

Northwestern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Plea Of Necessity: An Oft Overlooked Response Option To Hostile Cyber Operations, Louise Arimatsu, Michael N. Schmitt Aug 2021

The Plea Of Necessity: An Oft Overlooked Response Option To Hostile Cyber Operations, Louise Arimatsu, Michael N. Schmitt

International Law Studies

States are increasingly focused on the measures—cyber or otherwise—that they can take in response to hostile cyber operations. Although cyber operations are usually responded to with acts of “retorsion” (acts that are lawful, although unfriendly), international law recognizes other self-help mechanisms that allow for more robust responses. In the cyber context, most attention has focused on countermeasures and self-defense. Yet, both are subject to various limitations that constrain their availability.

This article examines a further option, the so-called “plea of necessity.” It allows States to respond to a hostile cyber operation when the action taken would otherwise be unlawful but …


Military Action To Recover Occupied Land: Lawful Self-Defense Or Prohibited Use Of Force? The 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Revisited, Tom Ruys, Felipe Rodriguez Silvestre Mar 2021

Military Action To Recover Occupied Land: Lawful Self-Defense Or Prohibited Use Of Force? The 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Revisited, Tom Ruys, Felipe Rodriguez Silvestre

International Law Studies

In September 2020, heavy fighting erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan long controlled by Armenia. After two months of military confrontations, a tripartite ceasefire was concluded, drastically altering the pre-existing territorial status quo.

The "Second Nagorno-Karabakh War" brings to light a fundamental question for international law on the use of force—and one that has received limited attention in legal doctrine. The question is this: when part of a State’s territory is occupied by another State for an extended period of time, can the former still invoke the right of self-defense to justify …


Responding To Hostile Cyber Operations: The “In-Kind” Option, Michael N. Schmitt, Durward E. Johnson Jan 2021

Responding To Hostile Cyber Operations: The “In-Kind” Option, Michael N. Schmitt, Durward E. Johnson

International Law Studies

Facing hostile cyber operations, States are crafting responsive strategies, tactics and rules of engagement. One of the major challenges in doing so is that key aspects of the international law governing cyber responses are vague, unsettled or complex. Not surprisingly, therefore, international law is markedly absent from strategies and operational concepts. Rather, they tend to take on a practical “tit-for-tat” feel as policymakers logically view “in-kind” responses as “fair play.” For them, responding in-kind surely must be lawful notwithstanding any challenges in discerning the precise legal character of the initial hostile cyber operation.

Testing that sense, this article examines the …


Taking Aim At Pointing Guns? Start With Citizen’S Arrest, Not Stand Your Ground: A Reply To Joseph Blocher, Samuel W. Buell, Jacob D. Charles, And Darrell A.H. Miller, Pointing Guns, 99 Texas L. Rev. 1173 (2021), Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2021

Taking Aim At Pointing Guns? Start With Citizen’S Arrest, Not Stand Your Ground: A Reply To Joseph Blocher, Samuel W. Buell, Jacob D. Charles, And Darrell A.H. Miller, Pointing Guns, 99 Texas L. Rev. 1173 (2021), Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

No abstract provided.


"Gunba Control" The Constitutionality Of Semi-Automatic Robotic Weapons, Steve P. Szymanski Jan 2021

"Gunba Control" The Constitutionality Of Semi-Automatic Robotic Weapons, Steve P. Szymanski

Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology

This piece examines how the Second Amendment, and its recent jurisprudential standards would apply to foreseeable semi-autonomous weapons in the private sector. Following an analysis of the landmark Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller and its progeny, the work forecasts how the rules would apply to a home defense drone designed to defend at the exterior of a domicile, an armed “digi-dog” designed for self-defense in public, and an armed robot (“Gunba”) designed to operate entirely within one’s domicile. Ultimately, it concludes that an semi-autonomous robot, designed for in-home use, could conceivably receive Second Amendment protection.


Reimagining Criminal Justice: The Disparate Impact Ofthe 'Castle' Doctrine, Carmen Wierenga Dec 2020

Reimagining Criminal Justice: The Disparate Impact Ofthe 'Castle' Doctrine, Carmen Wierenga

Reimagining Criminal Justice

On October 12, a mobile phone video showed a Black man being followed and harassed by a white man in Las Vegas. As the Black man is walking away, a voice on the recording says “why can’t you handle it like a … man?” The white man then throws a punch, and the Black man turns and shoots the white man. The white man survived, according to the sparse news coverage I found online. As of October 12, the shooter had not been found. The video spurred discussion, though: would the Black shooter succeed on a stand-your-ground claim? The answer …


The Unlawfulness Of A “Bloody Nose Strike” On North Korea, Kevin Jon Heller Feb 2020

The Unlawfulness Of A “Bloody Nose Strike” On North Korea, Kevin Jon Heller

International Law Studies

The United States has reportedly been debating whether to "react to some nuclear or missile test with a targeted strike against a North Korean facility to bloody Pyongyang’s nose and illustrate the high price the regime could pay for its behavior." This article asks a simple question: would such a “bloody nose strike” (BNS) violate the jus ad bellum?

Providing a coherent answer is complicated by the lack of clarity surrounding the United States’ planning. In particular, the U.S. government has not specified what kind of provocation it believes would justify launching a BNS, has not identified precisely what …


Twelve Key Questions On Self-Defense Against Non-State Actors, Terry D. Gill, Kinga Tibori-Szabó Jan 2020

Twelve Key Questions On Self-Defense Against Non-State Actors, Terry D. Gill, Kinga Tibori-Szabó

International Law Studies

This article examines the most pertinent questions relating to the applicability of the right of self-defense to attacks conducted by non-State armed groups (NSAGs) acting independently of State control from the territory of one or more States against the territory of another State. These questions are approached from the perspective of legality (does the right of self-defense apply to attacks not mounted by or under the control of a State) and modality (assuming the applicability of self-defense to such attacks; how do the principles of necessity, proportionality and immediacy affect its application)? Starting with an assessment of the place of …


Adverse Cyber Operations: Causality, Attribution, Evidence, And Due Diligence, Hans-Georg Dederer, Tassilo Singer Nov 2019

Adverse Cyber Operations: Causality, Attribution, Evidence, And Due Diligence, Hans-Georg Dederer, Tassilo Singer

International Law Studies

Adverse cyber operations against States are on the rise, and so are the legal challenges related to such incidents under public international law. This article will not delve into already intensely debated problems of classification, such as whether adverse cyber operations constitute “armed attacks” or “use of force.” Rather, the article will focus on causality and attribution with special regard to problems of evidence. In particular, the article will elaborate on the applicable standards of proof to be met by the victim State when submitting, or having to submit, evidence to justify self-defense or countermeasures against the State of origin. …


"Good Reason" Laws Under The Gun: May-Issue States And The Right To Bear Arms, Jack M. Amaro Feb 2019

"Good Reason" Laws Under The Gun: May-Issue States And The Right To Bear Arms, Jack M. Amaro

Chicago-Kent Law Review

This note proposes a framework for analyzing the point at which discretionary restrictions on the concealed carry of firearms are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, which, at its core, guarantees the responsible, law-abiding citizen at least the right to use a firearm for self-defense. Although the Supreme Court has yet to affirmatively answer whether and to what extent this right extends beyond the home, every state allows its residents to publicly carry a firearm in some form—be it open or concealed. But states have the power to limit who may exercise this right; and some states curtail it to the …


The Business Of Guns: The Second Amendment & Firearms Commerce, Corey A. Ciocchetti Jan 2019

The Business Of Guns: The Second Amendment & Firearms Commerce, Corey A. Ciocchetti

Pepperdine Law Review

Does the Second Amendment protect commerce in firearms? The simple answer is: yes, to an extent. An individual’s right to possess and use a gun for self-defense in the home is black-letter law after District of Columbia v. Heller. The right to possess and use a gun requires the ability to obtain a gun, ammunition, and firearms training. Therefore, gun dealers, servicers, and training providers receive some constitutional protection as facilitators of their customers’ Second Amendment rights. Whether these constitutional rights belong to firearms-related businesses independently of their customers is unclear. The scope of the Second Amendment matters as recent, …


How To Get Away With Murder: The “Gay Panic” Defense, Omar T. Russo Jan 2019

How To Get Away With Murder: The “Gay Panic” Defense, Omar T. Russo

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Invoking Federal Common Law Defenses In Immigration Cases, Fatma Marouf Jan 2019

Invoking Federal Common Law Defenses In Immigration Cases, Fatma Marouf

Faculty Scholarship

This Article argues that we should take a deeper look at the applicability of federal common law defenses in immigration cases. In the rare cases where noncitizens attempt to raise common law defenses, such arguments tend to be dismissed offhand by immigration judges simply because removal proceedings are technically civil, not criminal. Yet many common-law defenses may be raised in civil cases. Additionally, immigration proceedings have become increasingly intertwined with the criminal system. After examining how judges already rely on federal common law to fill in gaps in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), this Article proposes three categories of …


Soft-Served Deserts: Soft Retributivism As A Free Will-Independent Alternative For The Criminal Justice System, Theodore Benson Randles Aug 2018

Soft-Served Deserts: Soft Retributivism As A Free Will-Independent Alternative For The Criminal Justice System, Theodore Benson Randles

Catholic University Law Review

Human free will is foundational to our criminal justice system, yet contemporary scientific understanding casts doubt on a robust sense of human free will. If a person’s actions are wholly determined by the laws of physics, is that person morally deserving of punishment? This Article argues that our criminal justice system can be put on a footing that is not threatened by physical determinism. It suggests that a coherent system of criminal punishment can be founded on Daniel Farrell’s notion of “weak retributivism.” The Article build on Farrell’s work and develops a system built up from the universal right to …


The Popular But Unlawful Armed Reprisal, Mary Ellen O'Connell Apr 2018

The Popular But Unlawful Armed Reprisal, Mary Ellen O'Connell

Journal Articles

The United States and Iran carried out armed reprisals in Syria during 2017 in the wake of chemical and terror attacks. Despite support for their actions even by countries such as Germany and France, retaliatory uses of force are clearly prohibited under international law. International law generally prohibits all use of armed force with narrow exceptions for self-defense, United Nations Security Council authorization, and consent of a government to participate in a civil war. Military force after an incident are reprisals, which have been expressly forbidden by the UN. Prior to the Trump administration, the U.S. consistently attempted to justify …


Self-Defense, Necessity, And The Duty To Compensate, In Law And Morality, Kenneth W. Simons Jan 2018

Self-Defense, Necessity, And The Duty To Compensate, In Law And Morality, Kenneth W. Simons

Faculty Scholarship

What is the proper scope of the right to self-defense in law and morality? How does this right compare to the privilege of necessity? This essay addresses these issues with a particular focus on legal and moral duties of compensation. First, the essay examines how Anglo-American tort law would likely address the defender’s liability in a variety of scenarios, including disproportionate, excessive, and unnecessary force; unreasonable and reasonable mistakes; and use of force against innocent aggressors. It next considers whether private necessity principles that apply to appropriations of private property also apply to actors who intentionally infringe or violate rights …


Defending Honor And Beyond: Reconsidering The Relationship Between Seemingly Futile Defense And Permissible Harming, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2018

Defending Honor And Beyond: Reconsidering The Relationship Between Seemingly Futile Defense And Permissible Harming, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

In Helen Frowe's book, Defensive Killing, she argues that some cases of seemingly futile self-defense are actually instances of justifiable defense of the victim's honor. This paper explores Frowe's claim, first by isolating the central cases and then by examining her rejection of punitive reasons. From there, the paper examines Frowe's understanding of "defense of honor," ultimately suggesting that Frowe's conception is best construed as action that has expressive, but not defensive, value. From there, I turn to two more general puzzles. First, what if the defender mistakenly believes that she can successfully defend and acts for that reason, …


The Caroline Affair In The Evolving International Law Of Self-Defense, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2018

The Caroline Affair In The Evolving International Law Of Self-Defense, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

The "Caroline" incident – an 1837 raid by British Canadian militia across the Niagara River border to sink an American steamboat being used by Canadian insurgents – is well-known to many international lawyers. United States Secretary of State Daniel Webster’s resulting correspondence with British representative Lord Ashburton is often cited today as a key authority on customary international self-defense standards. University of Ottawa professor Craig Forcese has produced a valuable new history and analysis of that event, its legal context, and its continuing influence: "Destroying the Caroline: The Frontier Raid that Reshaped the Right to War." As explained in this …


Unilateral And Multilateral Preventive Self-Defense, Stéphanie Bellier Nov 2017

Unilateral And Multilateral Preventive Self-Defense, Stéphanie Bellier

Maine Law Review

The governing principle of the collective security system created by the United Nations Charter in 19451 is the rule prohibiting the use of force in Article 2(4), which provides that "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purpose of the United Nations." This rule prohibiting the use of force was considered revolutionary at the time because it transformed into international law ideas which had for centuries, if not millennia, preoccupied the minds of people …


Can Self-Defense Serve As An Appropriate Tool Against International Terrorism?, Jan Kittrich Oct 2017

Can Self-Defense Serve As An Appropriate Tool Against International Terrorism?, Jan Kittrich

Maine Law Review

The phenomenon of terrorism represents one of the gravest challenges to international order, peace, and security. The unpredictable nature of terrorist attacks threatens the public safety of each member of the international community. At the same time, member states’ responses to terrorism appear to threaten the homogeneity of modern international law and disrupt the uniform system of legal rules. In some aspects, it also seems to divide the community of international scholars. Simply put, terrorism deviates from the rule of law and so might the responsive action that it necessitates. This is the potential danger that terrorism intentionally aims to …


Fortifying The Self-Defense Justification Of Punishment, Zac Cogley Sep 2017

Fortifying The Self-Defense Justification Of Punishment, Zac Cogley

Zac Cogley

David Boonin has recently advanced several challenges to the self-defense justification of punishment. Boonin argues that the self-defense justification of punishment justifies punishing the innocent, justifies disproportionate punishment, cannot account for mitigating excuses, and does not justify intentionally harming offenders as we do when we punish them. In this paper, I argue that the self-defense justification, suitably understood, can avoid all of these problems. To help demonstrate the self-defense theory’s attraction, I also develop some contrasts between the self-defense justification, Warren Quinn’s better known ‘auto-retaliator’ argument, and desert-based justifications of punishment. In sum, I show that the self-defense justification of …


The Inevitability And Ubiquity Of Cycling In All Feasible Legal Regimes: A Formal Proof, Leo Katz, Alvaro Sandroni Jun 2017

The Inevitability And Ubiquity Of Cycling In All Feasible Legal Regimes: A Formal Proof, Leo Katz, Alvaro Sandroni

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

Intransitive choices, or cycling, are generally held to be the mark of irrationality. When a set of rules engenders such choices, it is usually held to be irrational and in need of reform. In this article, we prove a series of theorems, demonstrating that all feasible legal regimes are going to be rife with cycling. Our first result, the legal cycling theorem, shows that unless a legal system meets some extremely restrictive conditions, it will lead to cycling. The discussion that follows, along with our second result, the combination theorem, shows exactly why these conditions are almost impossible to meet. …


One Decade Later: Florida's Stand Your Ground Law Alive And Well, Shahabudeen Khan Jan 2017

One Decade Later: Florida's Stand Your Ground Law Alive And Well, Shahabudeen Khan

Faculty Scholarship

“I feel paranoid all the time.”1 That is how a seventeen-year old black varsity high school basketball player from Lauderhill, Florida expressed his emotions after a Lauderhill police officer ordered him and his friends to the ground for no apparent reason.2 Imagine living life in one of the most developed, wealthiest nations in the world with such fear. As a minority law professor, I share the same feelings, and often wonder whether I am next. However, that would be too egocentric. What of those who have suffered or lost lives; those who must face paranoia as an ill-fated …


Firepower To The People: Gun Rights & Self-Defense To Curb Police Misconduct, Spearit Jan 2017

Firepower To The People: Gun Rights & Self-Defense To Curb Police Misconduct, Spearit

Articles

This Article represents a polemic against the most harmful aspects of the policing status quo. At its core, the work asserts the right of civilians to defend against unlawful deadly police conduct. It argues that existing gun and self-defense laws provide a practical and principled basis for curbing police misconduct. It also examines legislative trends in gun laws to show that much of most recent liberalizing of gun rights is a direct response to self-defense concerns sparked by mass public shootings. The expansion of gun rights and self-defense comes at a time when ongoing police killings of Black civilians menace …


Disarming State Action; Discharging State Responsibility, Zanita E. Fenton Jan 2017

Disarming State Action; Discharging State Responsibility, Zanita E. Fenton

Articles

No abstract provided.