Bill just published on this - what if any effect will this have on the burglar's mindset?
Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Bill 2010 relating to the liability of a person regarding the use of force by him or her in his or her dwelling or in a dwelling in which he or she is a lawful occupant against a person who enters the dwelling; to amend the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997; and to provide for related matters.
The key Section 2 provides-
it shall not be an offence for a person who is in his or her dwelling, or for a person
who is a lawful occupant in a dwelling, to use force against another
person or the property of another person where—
(a) he or she believes the other person has entered or is
entering the dwelling as a trespasser for the purpose of
committing a criminal act, and
(b) the force used is only such as is reasonable in the circumstances
as he or she believes them to be—
(i) to protect himself or herself or another person present
in the dwelling from injury, assault, detention or
death caused by a criminal act,
(ii) to protect his or her property or the property of
another person from appropriation, destruction or
damage caused by a criminal act, or
(iii) to prevent the commission of a crime or to effect, or
assist in effecting, a lawful arrest.
(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply where the person uses force
(a) a member of the Garda Síochána acting in the course of
his or her duty,
(b) a person assisting a member of the Garda Síochána acting
in the course of his or her duty, or
(c) a person lawfully performing a function authorised by or
under any enactment.
(3) Subsection (1) shall not apply where the person using the force
engages in conduct or causes a state of affairs for the purpose of
using that force to resist or terminate an act of another person acting
in response to that conduct or state of affairs, but subsection (1) may
apply, if the occasion for the use of force arises only because the
person using the force concerned does something he or she may lawfully
do, knowing that such an occasion will arise.
(4) It is immaterial whether a belief is justified or not if it is
honestly held but in considering whether the person using the force
honestly held the belief, the court or the jury, as the case may be,
shall have regard to the presence or absence of reasonable grounds
for the person so believing and all other relevant circumstances.
(5) It is immaterial whether the person using the force had a safe
and practicable opportunity to retreat from the dwelling before using
the force concerned. [...]
(7) The use of force shall not exclude the use of force causing