Search Results for: right to die


The Weekly Round-Up: public executions, same-sex adoption and refugee rights

27 September 2021 by

In the news:

A spokesman for the Taliban has said that working women must stay at home for their own safety as “a very temporary procedure” until systems are in place to ensure their safety.  The spokesman also told Afghans not to go to Kabul airport and said the US should not encourage them to leave Afghanistan.

Last week, the former head of religious police for the Taliban confirmed that punishments such as execution and amputation would return to Afghanistan.  Prior to the takeover of Kabul, a Taliban judge told the BBC that Sharia law was clear and included punishments of 100 lashes in public for sex out of marriage, being stoned to death for adultery, and “[f]or those who steal: if it’s proved, then his hand should be cut off.”

On Saturday it was reported that the Taliban hung the bodies of four alleged kidnappers from cranes in Herat city square, before moving them to other areas of the city for public display. An unidentified Taliban commander said the aim was “to alert all criminals that they are not safe”.

In other news:


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Drones, double speak and lethal drugs: the Round up – Charlotte Bellamy

13 September 2015 by

2000In the news

Comparisons to Orwell’s dystopia have inevitably been drawn with the drone strikes recently carried out by the UK in Syria that killed two British IS fighters, Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin. Amnesty reacted with alarm at the news that remote control drones had been used as vehicles of execution – action they say “is difficult to conceive as being a feature of the present” – but particularly against a country with which we are not at war.

Controversy is certainly brewing over what Michael Fallon’s critics have termed a US-style “kill-list”  and the legality of the government’s action, which David Cameron initially justified as an act of UK self-defence in his address to the Commons last Monday, necessary to protect the UK from an “imminent threat”  – action which is permitted under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
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Rights and wrongs – The Human Rights Roundup

18 March 2012 by

In and out

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly summary of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

In the news

Human rights continue to be big news this week, with Andrew Neil’s Rights Gone Wrong? programme exploring the rather divisive issues that Human Rights bring up for the British public. The proposed reforms to the European Court of Human Rights and the Bill of Rights made news again also, along with such controversies as the right to die, open justice and kettling.


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Contaminated blood: statutory inquiry announced

7 November 2017 by

Adam Wagner acted for victims of the Blood Contamination scandal in a proposed Judicial Review of the refusal to hold an inquiry. He is not the author of this post

Amid the blizzard of news stories circling Westminster on Friday, it would have been easy to miss an announcement of considerable significance to victims of the contaminated blood scandal and their families.

In a written statement to Parliament, Damian Green confirmed that the inquiry into the scandal – announced by the Prime Minister in July – will take the form of a UK-wide, statutory inquiry.

Not only that, it will no longer be set up by the Department of Health (DoH), but by the Cabinet Office. Campaigners for the victims and their families had boycotted talks with Downing Street, arguing that the DoH would have a conflict of interest, due to the need for the inquiry to investigate the actions of health officials.

However, there was yet more disappointment and frustration over the continued failure to appoint an inquiry chair or to announce terms of reference.
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VIDEO: Dignity, Death and Deprivation of Liberty – Human Rights in the Court of Protection

9 November 2012 by

Last month 1 Crown Office Row hosted a fascinating panel debate on the Court of Protection and the incredibly difficult issues surrounding assisted dying.  The panel included Philip Havers QC, the philosopher A.C. Grayling and Leigh Day & Co.’s  human rights partner Richard Stein. You can now view the video here or below. Also see here for Rosalind English’s report of the event.

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Convention Rights page updated

6 May 2017 by

We have finished an overhaul of the Convention rights pages to reflect recent political and legal developments since they were last reviewed. The most important of these is the vote to leave the European Union and what implications this might have for the UK’s obligations under the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. For the moment I have left in place the editorial material matching each of the Charter rights with the Convention rights but the Charter and the role of the ECJ in UK legal affairs may be one of the first features of the post-Brexit landscape to change (see Marina Wheeler’s post on how that court might have overstepped the mark with the Charter, and David Hart’s discussion on the topic of ECJ muscle-flexing here, here and here).

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Physician assisted dying: latest developments

26 February 2019 by

Physician assisted dying

Update:

On 20 March Dignity in Dying released a report exposing the fact that those behind the legal challenge to the RCP (detailed below) have a long history of campaigning for pro-life causes and connections to American pro-life lobbyists, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

DID’s report has been covered by the British Medical Journal and Politics Home so far.  You can read the full report here, and their press release here.

In January we published episode 63 of Law Pod UK featuring Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying. DID campaigns for a change in the law to allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs for terminally ill people to hasten their own death in specific situations. Sarah referred in that interview to a poll that was about to be conducted of the members of the Royal College of Physicians, who have hitherto opposed assisted dying. The members are being asked whether they individually support a legal change to permit assisted dying, and what they think the RCP’s position should be. The RCP has said that it will move to a neutral position unless at least 60% of votes in a poll being sent out in the first week of February are either in favour of or opposed to a change in the law. The results will be announced in March but the poll has had a bumpy ride, including a threat of judicial review by one of its members for conducting the exercise as a “sham poll with a rigged outcome.” The Christian charity Duty of Care has called for signatures from doctors and medical students to a petition objecting to the poll.

While that has been going on, DID has supported the family of a man suffering from motor neurone disease. On 7 February Geoff Whaley travelled to Dignitas in Switzerland to end his life.

Before he died, Mr Whaley wrote an open letter all MPs to impress upon them the need for a change in the law after his wife was reported to the police, in an anonymous phone call, as a person potentially assisting someone to end their life. The Whaley’s MP Cheryl Gillan raised the family’s story in the Commons during Business of the House.

Geoff [and his wife] had to suffer the added mental anguish of facing a criminal investigation at a time when the family, and most of all Geoff, wanted to prepare his goodbyes and fulfil his last wish in peace. May I ask the Leader of the House if we can have a debate in Government time so that we can re-examine this area of law, particularly in the light of this amazing man’s efforts to give terminally ill people a choice over the way they leave this world, and to afford protection to their loved ones?


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“Autonomy does not evaporate with loss of capacity”: Court of Protection

22 November 2021 by

This was one of those deeply troubling cases where there was disagreement amongst the family members over whether their incapacitated brother/father should continue with clinically assisted nutrition and hydration. One brother had applied for ANH to be discontinued, but because of the objections of the patient’s son, it was said that he would “continue to be cared for by nursing staff”.

As Hayden J observed, this was a “troubling non sequitur”:

Family dissent to a medical consensus should never stand in the way of an incapacitated patient’s best interests being properly identified. A difference of view between the doctors and a family member should not be permitted to subjugate this best interest investigation.

This particular hearing was ex post facto: in 11th June 2021, Hayden J delivered an extempore judgment in which he indicated why the continued provision of nutrition and hydration to GU, in the manner outlined above, was contrary to GU’s interests. However, having concluded that it was not in GU’s best interests to continue to receive CANH at the hearing on 11th June 2021, he considered it was necessary to afford RHND the opportunity of explaining what had happened. Amelia Walker of 1 Crown Office Row represented the hospital in these proceedings.


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Strasbourg in the Age of Subsidiarity: Enough Reform to Accommodate Conservative Concerns? Brian Chang

21 September 2015 by

Judge_Robert_SpanoOn 7th September 2015, Judge Robert Spano (of the European Court of Human Rights) spoke at a high-level international conference on “The Role of Parliaments in the Realisation and Protection of the Rule of Law and Human Rights”, organised by Murray Hunt, Legal Adviser to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights. This was his second public intervention in the United Kingdom since his seminal speech on “Universality or Diversity of Human Rights: Strasbourg in the Age of Subsidiarity” delivered at Oxford in 2014, the first having been covered by UK Human Rights Blog here, and built upon his earlier speeches by elaborating on four post-Brighton Declaration cases in which the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (the European Court) applied the principle of subsidiarity to find no violation of human rights, considering that the cases fell within the national margin of appreciation, after having examined evidence demonstrating that the national Parliaments had considered the human rights issues. Taken collectively, the four cases demonstrate that Strasbourg is well and truly in the age of subsidiarity, deferring to the decisions of national Parliaments, provided those Parliaments had considered the human rights implications of legislation. Whether this will satisfy Conservative Party concerns that membership of the European Convention on Human Rights is incompatible with the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty will be explored at the end of this post.
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Do you enjoy writing about rights?

10 April 2017 by

RightsInfo, the UK Human Rights Blog’s sister site, is looking for new volunteer writers. Do you have a passion for human rights and can you write about law for a lay audience? If so, please apply! All details below, via RightsInfo.

We’ve had a cracking start to the year, covering all the biggest human rights news from Brexit developments to the London terror attackTory MPs who say we must stay in the Human Rights Convention to why the Tampon Tax is a human rights issue.

Most of what we produce is written by our amazing volunteer team. To support our news coverage further, we’re seeking new volunteers to write for RightsInfo. We are looking for people with excellent writing skills and a good knowledge and understanding of UK human rights law. If you’re keen on British politics, Brexit or human rights in practice then all the better!

We particularly need people who have time to work on more responsive pieces mid-week as part of our news rota, but we’d love to hear from you even if that’s not you.

If you’d like to apply, send us:

  • a brief statement on why you would be a good volunteer (max. 100 words)
  • a summary in 150 words or fewer of this recent ‘right to die’ case, aimed at a lay audience – no legalese please!
  • an indication of whether you would be able to be ‘on call’ one day per week to help us respond to breaking human rights news and, if so, which day of the week you would be able to cover
  • All in the body text please – no attachments and no C.V.s please!

Please email your application to info@rightsinfo.org no later than 10pm on Sunday 30th April with the subject line “Volunteer application – [NAME]” and with the case summary and other information all in the body text of the email. We regret that due to the high number of candidates expected, we cannot give individual feedback.

We look forward to hearing from you – good luck!

Dignity, Death and Deprivation of Liberty: Human Rights in the Court of Protection

19 September 2012 by

What: Dignity, Death and Deprivation of Liberty: Human Rights in the Court of Protection 

When: 6pm on Wednesday 10th October 2012 

You are invited to join 1 Crown Office Row for an event to mark the 5th Anniversary of the Court of Protection.  This Seminar will focus on current key topics in the Court of Protection being debated by two teams of Counsel from 1 Crown Office Row before an interventionist Panel comprising Philip Havers QC, Professor Anthony Grayling and Richard Stein, solicitor at Leigh Day & Co solicitors.

There are still a few places remaining to attend this event. If you are currently a legal practitioner and would like to attend please contact Charlotte Barrow, Marketing Executive at One Crown Office Row on charlotte.barrow@1cor.com stating your name and organisation. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

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The 21st Century Coroner

31 October 2012 by

The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 has created the office of Chief Coroner, plucked at the very last minute from the Coalition’s ‘bonfire of the quangos’.  On Friday, the first Chief Coroner, His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC, delivered The Howard League for Penal Reform’s 2012 Parmoor Lecture.

Six weeks into his post, Judge Thornton presents a frank exposition of the challenges facing the system he now heads, sets out what he considers to be its purpose, and charts its remarkable genesis.

Coroners have, it seems, occupied for the best part of a millennium a peculiar pocket of public life, adapting their function and purpose over time in a manner not always understood by those working outside the system, or even by they themselves.  From the Articles of Eyre to the 2009 Act, via Robin Hood and Richard the Lionheart (the latter does not come out well), the Chief Coroner describes how ‘crowners’, as they were originally known, have evolved from lay magistrates or collectors of fines, to the judges they are today.
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