Not murder, and self-defense: the Supreme Court of Ukraine made a precedent decision!

Not murder, and self-defense: the Supreme Court of Ukraine made a precedent decision!

The Supreme Court of Ukraine confirmed the right of the individual to protect his life and health from unlawful attacks, establishing that there are “no limits to self-defense and the right to use any methods of protection.” A precedent was set, according to which the decision of the AFU was acquitted citizen who killed a woman who broke into his home with an unknown.

In 2017, the defendant in the criminal proceedings was sentenced to 2 years under Art. 118 of the criminal code of Ukraine – premeditated murder in excess of the necessary defense. In addition, the decision of the court from the defendant had to collect 4800 UAH. on account of compensation for material damage, 60 000 UAH. in respect of non-pecuniary damage and UAH 450. costs of legal assistance.

In the same year, the court of appeal upheld the decision of the first instance and found the defendant guilty of having defended himself and killed one of the attackers who had broken into his house with a kitchen knife.

- In total, the defendant was imprisoned for four years. Two years in jail and a year and a half of house arrest. First, the defendant was convicted of intentional homicide, then, for grievous bodily harm resulting in death and the last sentence was passed for murder at excess of limits of defense, – says the lawyer Irina Wang told the newspaper “Kozhen spromozhen”.

After the case got to the Supreme court, where complaints were filed by both sides-the defense in order to justify the defendant and close the criminal case, and the prosecution demanded to reclassify the sentence of murder in excess of the necessary limits of defense to murder.

However, the Supreme court rejected the prosecution’s motion, dismissing the defendant.

– That is, the law provides for exceptions to the General rule that, with the necessary defense, a person who is protected must observe a certain border, causing harm to the infringer. These exceptions are an attack by an armed person, an attack by a group of persons or an unlawful forced invasion of a dwelling or other premises. In such cases, the harm caused to the person who encroaches, not limited to any limits, up to deprivation of life encroaching, – the Supreme court said in April 2018.

Thus, a precedent was created, thanks to which the statement “My home is my fortress” is now really relevant. The decision of the AFU can and should be used in the legal practice of lower courts, as well as in the whole civilized world.

- Conclusions on the application of the law, as set out in the decisions of the Supreme Court, are binding on all subjects of power, which apply in their activities the legal act containing the relevant rule of law. Conclusions on the application of the law set out in the decisions of the Supreme Court, taken into account by other courts in the application of such rules of law – According to part 5, 6 of article 13 Of the law of Ukraine “on the judicial system and the status of judges.”

According to international experience, the legal framework for self-defense has never been simple. For example, in the United States, a person has the right to apply measures to protect himself and his family, in the form of non-lethal means, realizing that he needs to cause damage to the offender, and there is no other way. At the time, as with a deadly means, should be prepared to defend their case in court, proving the necessity of the use of weapons.

Meanwhile, ordinary Ukrainians can be guided by the established precedent in the field of self-defense, protecting themselves and their homes. The main thing is that such a decision really worked in practice and in other cases, too. Whatever it was, but the citizens have leverage and everyone is able to get acquainted with them, in order to timely use and defend their legal rights!

Julia Gutshabes

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