What is necessity?

  • (noun): The condition of being essential or indispensable.
    See also — Additional definitions below


In U.S. criminal law, necessity may be either a possible justification or an exculpation for breaking the law. Defendants seeking to rely on this defense argue that they should not be held liable for their actions as a crime because their conduct was necessary to prevent some greater harm and when that conduct is not excused under some other more specific provision of law such as self defense. Except for a few statutory exemptions and in some medical cases there is no corresponding defense in English law.

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Some articles on necessity:

The Doctrine Of Philosophical Necessity Illustrated
... The Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity (1777) is one of the major metaphysical works of 18th-century British polymath Joseph Priestley ... published The Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity Illustrated (1777), an "appendix" to the Disquisitions that "suggests that materialism and determinism are mutually supporting." Priestley explicitly ... readers to participate, but he also claimed in works such as Philosophical Necessity that humans have no free will ...
Conceptual Necessity
... Conceptual necessity is a property of the certainty with which a state of affairs, as presented by a certain description, occurs it occurs by conceptual necessity if and only if it ... he is bound to be unmarried by conceptual necessity, because the meaning of the word "bachelor" determines that he is ... Alternatively, there is metaphysical necessity, which is a certainty determined, not by the meaning of a description, but instead by facts in the world described ...
Gun Politics In The Czech Republic - Self Defense With Firearms - Utmost Necessity
... Utmost necessity may be invoked where an interest protected by the Criminal Code (such as right to property or right to life) is endangered ... An example of necessity would be a defense against a raging dog (unless the dog was directly sent by the owner, which would be case of necessary defense) ... The necessity may be invoked only in case of imminent danger and only if there is no other way of avoiding it (subsidiarity), such as locking oneself behind a fence or calling the police ...
Doctrine Of Necessity
... The Doctrine of Necessity is the basis on which extra-legal actions by state actors, which are designed to restore order, are found to be constitutional ... the Chief Justice cited Bracton's maxim, 'that which is otherwise not lawful is made lawful by necessity', thereby providing the label that would come to be ... The Doctrine of Necessity has since been applied in a number of Commonwealth countries, and in 2010 was invoked to justify extra-legal actions in Nigeria ...

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Famous quotes containing the word necessity:

    Upon the whole, necessity is something, that exists in the mind, not in objects; nor is it possible for us ever to form the most distant idea of it, consider’d as a quality in bodies. Either we have no idea of necessity, or necessity is nothing but that determination of thought to pass from cause to effects and effects to causes, according to their experienc’d union.
    David Hume (1711–1776)

    Every need whose true satisfaction is denied leads by necessity to faith.
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)