Business programme

The Right to Self-Defence and Protection of the Home: Theory and Law Enforcement

Congress Centre, conference hall E11
People and Law
Questions of the permissible limits to self-defence are raised periodically and are becoming quite acute and high-profile. The principle ‘My home is my castle’ is, in many countries, associated with constitutional guarantees giving the right to sanctity of the home. “To protect people who protect themselves and protect the life and health of others,” said President Putin on 9 December 2021 at a meeting of the Human Rights Council. The right to sanctity of the home is a crucial constitutional human right. On 31 May 2022, a Plenum of Russia’s Supreme Court amended its 2012 Resolution No. 19 ‘On application by courts of the legislation on reasonable defence and infliction of harm when restraining a crime perpetrator’. Today, when protecting themselves, Russian citizens must assess the nature of the danger of violence or threat, are restricted by the limits of reasonable force in self-defence, while the criminal is not restricted in any way. As practice has shown, there are cases when people who were protecting their own lives and those of their children find themselves in court as accused and receive actual custodial sentences. If, as a result of self-defence, the attacker dies, this almost always means a custodial sentence. Without the law being amended, will the latest clarification issued by the Supreme Court have any material effect on judicial practice in cases of exceeding reasonable force in self-defence? How should law enforcement practice be shaped to protect people’s own lives and health, and those of people close to them, as well as when they fulfil their civic duty to protect people under attack?


Aleksandr Kozlov
Advisor to the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation


Michael Gushchin
President, Federation of Practical Shooting of Russia
Oleg Zatelepin
Judge of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation
Michael Mawashi
Musician, Public Figure, Blogger
Irina Pankina
Deputy, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on State Building and Legislation, State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation
Aleksei Petryanin
Director of the Nizhny Novgorod Branch, St. Petersburg Academy of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation
Vasiliy Pustovalov
Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for Supervision of the Investigation, Inquiry and Operational Investigative Activities, Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation

Front row participants

Valery Zastrozhin
Advocate, Co-Head of Criminal Practice, Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov & Partners Bar Association
Tatiana Sergeeva
Auditor, Accounts Chamber of the Tula Region
Vadim Fedorov
Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation
Marina Yarosh
Head, Moscow Collegium of Advocates named after Major General of Justice A.S. Kudryashov