Ben Bradshaw

Working Hard for Exeter

Self Defence

How telling that the lawyer of Munir Hussain, jailed for an attack on a burglar but now freed by theAppeal Court in a sensible decision, says the existing law is right and strongly opposes Conservative proposals to relax the law on self defence. 

Under the current law, introduced by Labour, people are perfectly entitled to use “reasonable force” in self defence and the courts have generally interpreted this sensibly.

But in a knee-jerk response to the inititial sentence against Mr Hussain, the Conservatives said they would change the law to allow people to use violence unless it was “grossly disproportionate”. 

How on earth are juries or judges to decide was “grossly” means? The Tory plan would mean that it would be fine to use “very” or “highly” disproportionate violence. The release of Mr Hussain and the strong support of his lawyer for the law as it stands leaves the Tories’ headline grabbing posturing in tatters.

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