Eowyn wrote:Hi everyone,
I've only been in Canada a few years (I'm originally from Wisconsin) and am not yet familiar with its laws regarding self-defense; from what I can tell to say that they are not straightfoward is probably an understatement. I am a small woman living in a city with a high crime rate and have already been in some questionable situations, and I'm starting to realize how important it is to know what I am legally entitled to do to protect myself. I hope you all don't mind me asking-I figured it'd be easier to figure it out this way. So here are my questions:
Are all weapons aside from firearms (which I understand are restricted to hunting, collecting, and sporting) such as knives, slingshots, clubs and bats, bow and arrow, etc. illegal to use on someone when their sole purpose is self-defense?
Is it illegal to use non-weapons against someone who is attacking you or who has forcibly entered your home, such as sharp or blunt objects?
Is there any set standard for what counts as reasonable force? Would the victim's size and strength in relation to the attacker or intruder be taken into account? If you are attacked and must act immediately, doing whatever you can, can you use a great deal of force or strike in a specific area knowing it could be deadly to the attacker, and is it easy to prove that you had to do it?
As a Law Student,
maybe i can brush up on my memory and offer some legal information (This is purely information once again, and not factual advice, if you seek advice, I recommend seeing a Lawyer)
The criminal code recognizes self-defense in Article 34 (R. v. Cinous)
In my (non legal) opinion these are the points to remember
1- The incoming threat of attack or assault must be real and imminent
2- One must use only as much force that is needed to repel the attacker.
3- If one has the option of fleeing safely or running to the authorities, one should exercise that one first.
Also, theres a slight difference between 34(1) and 34(2).
The Mentioned Article is below
Self-defence against unprovoked assault
34. (1) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.
Extent of justification
(2) Every one who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if
(a) he causes it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and
(b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 34; 1992, c. 1, s. 60(F).
Self-defence in case of aggression
35. Every one who has without justification assaulted another but did not commence the assault with intent to cause death or grievous bodily harm, or has without justification provoked an assault on himself by another, may justify the use of force subsequent to the assault if
(a) he uses the force
(i) under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence of the person whom he has assaulted or provoked, and
(ii) in the belief, on reasonable grounds, that it is necessary in order to preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm;
(b) he did not, at any time before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose, endeavour to cause death or grievous bodily harm; and
(c) he declined further conflict and quitted or retreated from it as far as it was feasible to do so before the necessity of preserving himself from death or grievous bodily harm arose.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 35.
36. Provocation includes, for the purposes of sections 34 and 35, provocation by blows, words or gestures.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 36.
37. (1) Every one is justified in using force to defend himself or any one under his protection from assault, if he uses no more force than is necessary to prevent the assault or the repetition of it.
Extent of justification
(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to justify the wilful infliction of any hurt or mischief that is excessive, having regard to the nature of the assault that the force used was intended to prevent.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 37.
"A Prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise" -Niccolo Machiavelli