Legal Self-Defense: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

N.I. Uzdimaeva
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XIX, Issue 3B, 131-150, 2016
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/568


This paper presents a detailed analysis of legal self-defense as a complex legal category and is in demand not only at the modern stage of existence of state-organized civilizations but also in the past. Essential parameters of self-defense are studied due to which self-defense is characterized as scientific construction, subjective right, legal activity, form of protection of violated right, special legal measure, and complex legal institution. Such multi aspect characteristics of self-defense require close attention in order to increase efficiency of further application (from theory to normative consolidation and practical implementation). Tendencies in normative regulation of self-defense beginning from savagery (Talion principles) through the Middle Ages, in bourgeois states and up the present time are depicted. The author compares the limits of self-defense that were established during various historical epochs. For example, primitive self-defense is acknowledged as the most inhuman and violent. It is associated with group interests of a tribal community. In the Middle Ages the limits were established considering self-defense application by sole discretion of the subject, that was why the state began to ask for help third parties and official mediators to act between the person and the state. Moreover the sphere of self-defense here is getting narrow here to prevent unrestrained arbitrary actions. During bourgeois epoch legal regulation of self-defense was much politicized. Its implementation was connected for example with the right to participate in public manifestation, submit a petition etc. Today to some extent the international documents and the Russian legislation regulate it. However, regulation of self-defense is fragmented, so it is necessary to adopt a special act concerning self-defense.

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