Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Self-defense
(1,095 words)

1. Concept

Self-defense is legitimate defense against an attack. Consequently, where such a defender otherwise fulfills the criteria of having committed a crime, for example, by inflicting physical harm or killing, he or she is neither punishable for it in criminal law nor liable for damages in civil law.

2. Criminal law

Medieval legal collections contain only regulations concerning individual cases of defense. The Bamberger Halsgerichtsordnung of 1517 and the Constituti…

Cite this page
Löhnig, Martin, “Self-defense”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 04 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024861>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601



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