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Common Law Principles - Use of Force

In the United Kingdom, the principles of the use of force, as governed by common law, play a fundamental role in shaping the legal boundaries within which individuals can defend themselves or others.

Common law, developed through judicial decisions provides guidelines for the reasonable use of force in various situations.

The concept of reasonableness is central to determining the legality of using force.

Individuals are generally expected to avoid confrontation if it is safe and practical to do so before resorting to a use of force. 

When it comes to protecting property, the use of force is more restricted compared to defending oneself or others from physical harm. 

Enforcement officers are authorised to use force in certain situations to maintain law and order. However, this authorisation is not unlimited.

Determining the reasonableness - decisions from previous cases may provide guidance, but each case is evaluated based on its own unique set of circumstances – ie; context.

So the principles governing the use of force under common law in the UK seek to strike a balance between protecting individuals from harm and preventing excessive use of force.

These principles shape the legal landscape, ensuring a fair and just approach to addressing situations involving the use of force across society.

Of course, this all reads well but what does it mean for you?

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