Saturday, November 25, 2023

Russian Supreme Court’s Defense of Right to Self-Defense May Not Help Those who Use Violence to Resist Their Attackers, Legal Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 23 – Repeating a declaration it made in 2012, Russia’s Supreme Court has said that anyone who defends his or her life against an attacker is not guilty of a crime even if that defense harms or even kills the attacker and that that is especially the case if the individual being attacked is a woman.

            That ruling follows new data showing that Russians who are brought to trial for injuring or killing their attackers are only in the rarest instances acquitted by lower courts ( and

            But Russian legal experts say that this new defense of the right of individuals to respond to attacks is unlikely to have any more impact than the Court’s 2012 declaration because prosecutors and lower courts are inclined to treat responses to attacks as crimes in and of themselves and to invoke various articles of the criminal code to convict defendants.

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