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CRIMINAL LAW SEMESTER 2 dickson

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CRIMINAL LAW (LAWS 241/432) By Sabelo Gumedze Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand www.law.wits.ac.za 10/3/2021 LAWS 241/432 1 GROUNDS FOR JUSTIFICATION ◼ ◼ Grounds for justification (defences) may either ◼ Exclude mens rea or ◼ Exclude the unlawfulness of the actus The general rule is that an act is punishable if it is unlawful ◼ ◼ If the act is lawful, then, the accused will escape liability i.e. it will be a ground for justification Grounds for justification may be as follows:◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ Private defence Necessity Duress Compulsion Impossibility and Consent 10/3/2021 LAWS 241/432 2 Private Defence ◼ ◼ ◼ A person who is the victim of an unlawful attack of his/her person, property or other recognized legal interest may resort to force to repel such attack Any harm or damage inflicted upon an aggressor in the course of such private defence is not unlawful Generally, criminal law ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ ◼ Prohibits individuals from resorting to force of violence in repelling attacks Does not encourage self-help and private vengeance or retaliation Only allows the State to provide protection to individuals However, sometimes the State is not readily available to provide such protection to individuals Thus, the law does allow individuals to resort to private defence within acceptable limits ◼ This is an inherent individual’s right 10/3/2021 LAWS 241/432 3 Private Defence ◼ The law only allows a private defence where ...
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