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Murder Notes

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This is an extract of our Murder document, which we sell as part of our GDL Criminal Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.

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MURDER
THE SANCTITY OF LIFE
 Airedale N.H.S. Trust v. Bland [1993] - Held that the trust was not ending the victim's life (PVS post Hillsborough) but was discontinuing treatment through omission.
o Lord Goff stated to actively to bring a patient's life to an end is "to cross the Rubicon."
 Re A [2001] - conjoined twins, would not survive together. One would have a strong chance of survival if separated. Catholic parents did not consent to the operation. High court granted the declaration on the grounds that the operation would be akin to withdrawal of support (despite its being a 4hr invasive op).
o CA held not an omission but justified on grounds of necessity.
o Brooke J: We need a utilitarian calculus

Walker LJ showed a great deal of imagination: The situation was just like that in a private school playground, a six-year old shooting randomly in a playground - we would kill the sixyear-old if necessary to save the others.
o Ward LJ: The motive makes it proper here

This is a highly specialized case.
 R (Pretty) v DPP [2002] - terminally ill with MND. Pretty wanted immunity for her partner so that when her suffering became unbearable her partner could end her life with immunity. DPP
refused.
o HoL agreed - was legitimate as was needed to protect the weak and vulnerable for effective justice system.
o ECtHU upheld HoL in terms of overall outcome for effectiveness of justice.
 R (Purdy) v DPP [2009] - argued DPP was infringing on human right by failing to clarify how Suicide Act would be enforced (in particular individuals aiding in transporting them to Switzerland).
o Held it does interfere with Ms Purdy's right to respect for private life (Art 8 - overturning Pretty)
o Required the DPP to prepare an offence-specific policy including: age, capacity, family members, paid carers, was there any gain,
 R v Inglis (2010) - D's son fell out of ambulance, suffered severe head injury, surgery resulted in severe disfigurement. He was in a vegetative state but doctors were hopeful that he would make a recovery. D was convinced that his vegetative state was permanent, D became obsessed and depressed and injected son with heroin killing him.
o Court held provocation was inapplicable. We do not have mercy killings in English law.
 R (Nicklinson) v MoJ (2014) - Nicklinson had locked in syndrome. Appealed to allow others end his life when it reached a certain point.

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