Eroded liberties 10


The law used to recognize the right of individuals to protect themselves and their property from illegal transgression. People who found themselves facing assault or theft were entitled to use what the law called "reasonable force" to resist such infringement of their rights, and to secure the safety of their person and their property.

Recently the determination of the police to exercise a monopoly of violence, coupled with a determination by lawyers and judges to protect those accused, has systematically eroded the common law right of self defence. Those who have apprehended criminals in the act of theft or assault have found themselves arrested for false imprisonment, kidnapping, or assault.

Our right to protect ourselves is surrendered to an impartial authority more likely to exercise dispassionate judgement, provided that it does indeed safeguard our interests. If that authority fails to protect, however, then people have to protect themselves. In undermining that right, recent decisions have also undermined the rule of law and the right to life and property.