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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In civil proceedings and criminal prosecutions under the common law, a defendant may raise a defense in an attempt to avoid criminal or civil liability. Besides contesting the accuracy of any allegation made against him or her in a criminal or civil proceeding, a defendant may also make allegations against the prosecutor or plaintiff or raise a defense, arguing that, even if the allegations against the defendant are true, the defendant is nevertheless not liable.

Civil law defenses

In common law, a defendant may raise any of the numerous defences to limit or avoid liability. These include:


In addition to defenses against prosecution and liability, a defendant may also raise a defense of justification - such as self defense and defense of others or defense of property.

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