Permissible Killing: The Self-Defence Justification of Homicide

Permissible Killing: The Self-Defence Justification of Homicide

Paperback Cambridge Studies in Philosophy & Law

By (author) Suzanne Uniacke, Series edited by Gerald J. Postema, Series edited by Jules L. Coleman, Series edited by Antony Duff, Series edited by David Lyons, Series edited by Neil MacCormick, Series edited by Stephen R. Munzer, Series edited by Philip Pettit, Series edited by Joseph Raz, Series edited by Jeremy Waldron

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 14mm | 358g
  • Publication date: 1 August 1996
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521564581
  • ISBN 13: 9780521564588
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,296,183

Product description

Do individuals have a positive right of self-defence? And if so, what are the limits of this right? Under what conditions does this use of force extend to the defence of others? These are some of the issues explored by Dr Uniacke in this comprehensive 1994 philosophical discussion of the principles relevant to self-defence as a moral and legal justification of homicide. She establishes a unitary right of self-defence and the defence of others, one which grounds the permissibility of the use of necessary and proportionate defensive force against culpable and non-culpable, active and passive, unjust threats. Particular topics discussed include: the nature of moral and legal justification and excuse; natural law justifications of homicide in self-defence; the Principle of Double Effect and the claim that homicide in self-defence is justified as unintended killing; and the question of self-preferential killing. This is a lucid and sophisticated account of the complex notion of justification, revolving around a critical discussion of trends in the law of self-defence.

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Review quote

'Suzanne Uniacke has written an adventurous and philosophically elegant work in which she justifies the intentional use of necessary and proportionate lethal force in private homicidal self-defence. Her contribution will definitely interest those engaged in discussions concerning the ethics of homicide.' The Review of Metaphysics

Back cover copy

Do individuals have a positive right of self-defence? And if so, what are the limits of this right? Under what conditions, if any, does this use of force extend to the defence of others? These are some of the issues explored by Dr Uniacke in this comprehensive philosophical discussion of the principles relevant to self-defence as a moral and legal justification of homicide. She establishes a unitary right of self-defence and defence of others, one which grounds the permissibility of the use of necessary and proportionate defensive force against culpable and non-culpable, active and passive, unjust threats. Particular topics discussed include: the nature of moral and legal justification and excuse; natural law justifications of homicide in self-defence; the Principle of Double Effect and the claim that homicide in self-defence is justified as unintended killing; and the question of self-preferential killing. This is a lucid and sophisticated account of the complex notion of justification, revolving around a critical discussion of recent trends in the law of self-defence.

Table of contents

1. The problem of homicide in self-defence; 2. Self-defence as a justification; 3. Self-defence and natural law; 4. The double effect justification; 5. The right of self-defence; 6. Self-defence and the right to life.