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PHL370H5 (4)
Lecture

Lectures

6 Pages
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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL370H5
Professor
Andrew Sepielli

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Self-Defense Sept 9, 2013 • Trayvon Martin case discussion • Criminal Law o Offenses o Justifications  Ex. Self defense  ‘Not legally culpable’even though the law was violated by said person o Excuses  Ignorance of law • Justifications o Defense in general  Fletcher - Getts case  Lazar – • Short papers o Coherent 1.5 pages on the topic will get you a perfect grade • Long papers • Short Paper Topic: o Do you think Zimmerman should have been acquitted or convicted? Why?  If unsure, what kind of info are you missing that you think would be relevant? Sept 11, 2013 • Self- and other- defence • Real self-defence o Cases where your use of force is actually necessary to prevent… • Mistaken self-defence o Cases where your use of force was predicated upon your reasonable belief that it was required to prevent force from being used upon you • Self-defence is understood as a sort of punishment o ‘Punishment in the here and now by somebody who is in a good position to know that the accused did it’ • Fletcher o What’s proportionate when it comes to self-defence is not proportionate when it comes to punishment September 16, 2013 • What’s required for justified self-defense? o The threat must be imminent  Some cases in which the imminence required seems to rule out acts of self-defense that seem arguably to be justified • Cases in which you shouldn’t have to wait until the last possible moment to strike (pre-emptive strike) o The amount of force you use must be necessary to prevent the threatened harm o The amount of force you use must be proportioned to the threatened harm o You must intend to act in self-defense • Necessity generally o No matter how evil or horrible the person is that’s inflicting pain on you, you can’t attack them unless your defense is actually going to be effective • Proportionality requirement o Not proportional: Force in excess of what the original attacker was using Sept 18, 2013 • Reasonable Belief standard o Two components  Reasonable • Objective • It’s not enough that you sincerely believe you’re under threat of imminent harm… your belief also needs to be held on reasonable grounds  Belief: • Subjective Sept 23, 2013 • General view: Your belief is reasonable if you were diligent about forming it o Or • General view: Your belief is reasonable only if it meets some sort of objective standard • What factors constitute ‘good grounds’for belief in the context of self-defense? o Do I only have grounds if someone explicitly threatens me?  How do you differentiate b/w something that is explicit and something that isn’t • Judging people based on stereotypes • Lazar o Use this article as a model for paper * o Rules of war are ‘sui generis’  The rules of war don’t apply to anything else. They’re specific to war. Even the rules of self-defense o Innocent attacker o Jus ad bellum (meeting the traditional criteria for the justified resort to war) o Jus in bello (behaviours in war)  The harm done is proportionate to the value of the goals they want to achieve Sept 25, 2013 • No notes. Read paper. Sept 30, 2013 • McMahan o Lazar thinks it’s a myth that it’s only the attacker who is agent-responsible and not the victim o McMahan’s theory doesn’t capture the asymmetry b/w the attacker and the defender  In that the attacker sets up the forced situation and the defender doesn’t o Contributory negligence  You have a responsibility to prevent harm and cannot claim self defense if you were unable to do so and had to ‘protect yourself’ from the threat • Ex. You can’t just sit in the middle of a four lane highway and when cars start coming, start shooting at them because ‘they were coming at you and you had to defend yourself’ • You have a responsibility not to put yourself in that position in the first place  McMahan is claiming that the reason why you can kill somebody in self defense is simply that that person is imposing a risk upon you but you’re not reciprocally imposing harm upon that person  Lazar is saying if you can kill in self-defense it can’t simply be for that reason. That risk of harm that’s imposed upon you is partially your responsibility • Responsibility view o If someone is responsible for an unjustified threat, then you’re not violating their rights if you hurt them in self-defense • Risk view o Are you responsible for a situation in which there’s a risk of an unjustified harm happening to somebody? o The risk view is the one that’s applicable o Nobody can be resp for a harm until the harm happens Rape October 9, 13 • Basic difference: Self defense is a justification whereas rape is an offense • Burden is on the person accused of murder or manslaughter that the killing was in self-defense. By contrast, with rape, the Crown has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that all the elements were met. • Is consent subjective or objective? o Is consent something that goes on in your mind or is it something at a more public level?
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