ELSS CASE ANALYSIS- DPP v Pretty - The case was heard in...

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The case was heard in the House of Lords on the 9 th November 2001. The judges deciding the case were Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough and Lord Scott of Foscote. The claimant was Mrs Diane Pretty The defendant was the Director of Public Prosecutions (Secretary for State for the Home Department Intervening) (DPP) The facts of the case were that Mrs. Diane Pretty appealed against the decision of the Divisional Court of the Queens Bench Division EWHC Admin 788. The claimant suffered from Motor Neurone disease, a terminal illness which meant that she was severely disabled and faced a distressing and humiliating death. There was the likely possibility that the loss of control of her muscles would lead to her being unable to swallow or breathe. However her mental capabilities were unaffected by the disease. It was her request that her husband assist in her suicide as she could not carry it out by herself unaided. However under the Suicide Act 1961 s2 (1) “a person who aids, abets, counsels, or procures the suicide of another, or an attempt by another to commit suicide, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years”. The claimant requested the DPP not to consent to prosecution of her husband under s2(4) “. ..no proceedings shall be instituted for an offence under this section expect by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions”. The DPP could not give that assurance, in a letter of response by the Crown Prosecutor on behalf of the Director on 27 th July 2001 “Successive Directors-and Attorney General- have explained that they will not grant immunities that condone, require, or purport to authorise or permit the future commission of any criminal offence ,no matter how exceptional the circumstances. I must therefore advise you that the Director cannot provide the undertaking that you seek”. The claimant then under the Human Rights Act 1998 which had implemented the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course ECO 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at Texas State.

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ELSS CASE ANALYSIS- DPP v Pretty - The case was heard in...

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