Defence of Property in Criminal Law and Tort

Benjamin Andoh, Simon Parsons, Phil Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Subject to exceptions, ownership of property is protected by the Human Rights Act 1998 (Part II, The First Protocol, Art.1). At common law a person has a right to use reasonable force to defend his property. However, there has not been any express statutory definition of “reasonable force”. The nearest there is today is s.43 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which only concerns landowners. That section provides that, as against an intruder, a landowner’s use of force will only be unreasonable if it is grossly disproportionate in the circumstances.
    Even though the literature abounds with works on private and public defence in criminal law exclusively and on defence of property in the civil law, again exclusively, the topic of defence of property in both the criminal law and tort has not been covered together. This article, therefore, aims to fill this gap. The first part looks at the position under the criminal law and the second part at the position in the law of tort. The last part concludes the paper. It is observed, inter alia, because section 3(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967, a statutory provision of general application, allows a person to use reasonable force to prevent the commission of an offence, impliedly, one may use reasonable force to defend his property if doing so will prevent the commission of an offence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number4
    Pages (from-to)65-78
    Number of pages14
    JournalMountbatten Journal of Legal Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


    Dive into the research topics of 'Defence of Property in Criminal Law and Tort'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this