On this page:

·What is the difference between assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm?

·How far can you go in self defence?

·How do you establish self defence?

What is the difference between assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm?

Actual bodily harm means an injury results from the assault – it can include bruising, a cut, scratches, welts etc. An assault (simpliciter) does not involve an injury.

How far can you go in self defence?

You are entitled to defend yourself, defend another person and defend property – but if your actions are unreasonable and excessive, then assault can still be committed. For instance, if someone pokes you in the chest, you do not have a right to belt them over the head with a baseball bat!

How do you establish self defence?

It is a 2 tier test. Firstly, you must establish that you believed it was necessary to do what you did in the circumstances as you perceived them (including when intoxicated); and secondly, your actions must be considered reasonable by the hypothetical objective observer. Self defence is specifically set out in the Crimes Act.