Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Assisting Suicide: the cases of Nicklinson, Lamb and Martin

Mr Nicklinson
Updates: This post will be updated with further materials and comments as they become available ... as they undoubtedly will !

The Supreme Court has handed down judgment in the assisting suicide cases of Nicklinson, Lamb and 'Martin' (a name used for the purpose of the case).  Essentially the court has held that amendment of the Suicide Act 1961 section 2 is a matter for Parliament and no declaration of incompatibility (Human Rights Act 1998 section 4) was issued.  However, the possibility of such a declaration in the future was not ruled out.   Furthermore, the court allowed an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions and upheld the legality of the DPP's 2010 prosecutorial guidance.  The guidance was issued following the House of Lords decision in Purdy 2009.

R (on the application of Nicklinson and another) (AP) (Appellants) v Ministry of Justice (Respondent) and R (on the application of AM) (AP) (Respondent) v The Director of Public Prosecutions (Appellant)
View the court giving judgment via YOUTUBE
It is now to be hoped that Parliament takes the opportunity to address this matter in the light of the court's judgment.

Previous post 1st August 2013



Further material, Comments etc:

Doughty Street Chambers ..... Matrix Chambers ..... UK Supreme Court blog .... UK Human Rights Blog (post by Roasalind English 25th June) .....

Items added 27th June:

UK Human Rights Blog - Rosalind English - Supreme Court rejects right to die appeals

Oxford Human Rights Bub 26th June  - Claire Overman - Moral arguments on the right to die: should courts intervene?

Public Law for Everyone 26th June - Dr Mark Elliott - The right to die: deference, dialogue and the division of constitutional authority 

4th July 2014:

Jon Holbrook - The state should not be the god of death - thoughtful piece here on individual autonomy which, the author fears, is in serious danger of being overlooked should suggestions of the Supreme Court be adopted.  That is, suggestions along the lines of requiring a High Court judge to decide whether someone may be assisted to die.

9th July 2014:

Carl Gardner - Head of Legal blog - Assisted suicide, human rights and Parliament: a wrong turning by the Supreme Court

Law in Focus - Nicola Padfield  University of Cambridge - Nicklinson - the right to die

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