Proportionality and Self-Defense

Law and Philosophy 30 (3):253-272 (2011)
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Abstract

Proportionality is widely accepted as a necessary condition of justified self-defense. What gives rise to this particular condition and what role it plays in the justification of self-defense seldom receive focused critical attention. In this paper I address the standard of proportionality applicable to personal self-defense and the role that proportionality plays in justifying the use of harmful force in self-defense. I argue against an equivalent harm view of proportionality in self-defense, and in favor of a standard of proportionality in self-defense that requires comparable seriousness and takes into account the wrong, as opposed simply to the harm that the victim is fending off. I distinguish the standard of proportionality in self-defense from proportionality in circumstances of necessity, and I discuss whether proportionality is an internal or an external constraint on the right of self-defense

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Suzanne Uniacke
Charles Sturt University

Citations of this work

From self-defense to violent protest.Edmund Tweedy Flanigan - 2023 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 26 (7):1094-1118.
Self-Defense.Helen Frowe & Jonathan Parry - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2021.
Proportionality in Self-Defense.Uwe Steinhoff - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (3):263-289.

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References found in this work

Self-defense.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1991 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (4):283-310.
Killing the Innocent in Self‐Defense.Michael Otsuka - 1994 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 23 (1):74-94.
The basis of moral liability to defensive killing.Jeff McMahan - 2005 - Philosophical Issues 15 (1):386–405.
Killing in self‐defense.Jonathan Quong - 2009 - Ethics 119 (3):507-537.

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