Necessity / Notstand

The Vancouver Sun reports on the case of a homeless man who fasted for sixty days to attain spiritual perfection and then broke into a house, where the least of his criminal actions was that he ‘pigged out on cups of tea’.

He opened the presents looking for chocolates, raided the fridge and cupboards searching for delicacies, pigged out on cups of tea, chili, cream cheese and tortillas. He then puked and defecated in plastic bags before slipping into a stupor and curling up on the floor.

Still, Nelson convinced North Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Douglas Moss the foul behaviour was necessary or he would have died of cold and hunger.

Judge Moss acknowledged Nelson’s quest to reach spiritual perfection through fasting was “bizarre, to say the least” and noted the defence of necessity is rarely heard in Canadian courts.

Yet he acquitted Nelson.

The appeal court has now called for a retrial. Whether Jim Nelson attained spiritual perfection is not recorded.

I won’t go into the details of rechtfertigender Notstand and entschuldigender Notstand in German law. Here is something on it.

(Thanks to Legal Juice)

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