In Defence of Self-Defence

52 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2024

Date Written: January 12, 2024


Self-defence is an inescapable figure of contemporary legal systems of liability. It appears to be one of the most important traditional mechanisms of private Justice, although unwanted by the state monopoly of legal coercion. This subjects it to a role of justification and to increasing limitations. The present study assesses the merit of these limits in the civil domain, denying it the anachronistic status to which it is (allegedly) relegated. The approach is based on the two main vectors of the figure, namely aggression, on which it depends, and the admissible defence.

Keywords: self-defence, private justice, justification, tort, criminal liability

Suggested Citation

Barroso Rodrigues, António, In Defence of Self-Defence (January 12, 2024). Centro de Investigação de Direito Privado (CIDP) Research Paper No. 01/2024, Available at SSRN:

António Barroso Rodrigues (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon ( email )

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