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Judicial Interpretation of the 1997 Criminal Code Provisions on Self-Defence

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Łukasz Pohl and Konrad Burdziak

In this book the authors present and, more importantly, give their own assessment of judicial decisions interpreting the Criminal Code provisions currently in force on self-defence and the transgression of its limits. The authors have critically verified the empirical material of 88 Supreme Court, 194 Court of Appeal and 34 District Court decisions in which an adjudicating body ruled on the merits with reference to the components and functions of self-defence or the transgression of its limits. The ultimate aim of this study is to answer the question if the present wording of relevant provisions is optimal, especially as judicial decisions are dominated by certain interpretative directions of these provisions that have an overwhelming impact on positions taken by courts in matters of detail. The present study, therefore, will not only reflect on legal dogmatics, by analysing the law as it stands now and the way it works in practice, but will also attempt to suggest amendments to the law.

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