Comparing Self-Defence and Necessity in English and South African Law – R v Riddell  1 All ER 62;  EWCA Crim 413
Keywords:dangerous weapon legislation, motor vehicle, weapon of death, defences of self-defence and duress, private defence and necessity
Although a motor vehicle has been held not to be a “dangerous weapon” in terms of the dangerous weapon legislation, a motor vehicle can certainly be used as a “weapon of death”. Can a motor vehicle then also be used as a means of defending one’s interests that are under attack? This is the issue that arose in the English case of R v Riddell  1 All ER 62;  EWCA Crim 413, which is examined below in the broader context of a comparison between English and South African law on the defences of self-defence and duress, and private defence and necessity, respectively. (As is customarily the case, in this contribution the person accused of a crime is referred to as “the accused” where South African law is under discussion, and as “the defendant” where English law is discussed.)
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