Criminal Law: Necessity as a Defence

August 3, 2023

The defence of necessity is based on the belief that certain actions, which would usually be considered crimes, were necessary to avoid greater harm. There is a higher standard of proof than duress of circumstances: the defendant must demonstrate that their actions were the only possible way to prevent imminent and serious harm, and that there were no alternatives to their conduct. It is very rare that necessity will be accepted as a defence because it is so circumscribed that it is very unlikely to apply.

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