The High court fails to clarify the law on assisted suicide. MS sufferer, Debbie Purdy argued that the DPP should publish clear guidelines as to when they will use their discretion under section 2(4) of the Suicide Act 1961 to prosecute an individual that aids and abets another to commit suicide. Her lawyers argued that the absence of such clarity infringed her rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
However, the judges ruled that existing guidelines were adequate and that Ms. Purdy’s human rights had not been infringed. They stated that it was for parliament to change the law in relation to assisted suicide.
The full case report can be found here: Purdy, R (on the application of) v Director of Public Prosecutions & Anor  EWHC 2565 (QB) (29 October 2008).
Abramovich case fails because he is not a UK resident or domicile. The £2.5 billion ownership claim against the Russian billionaire for a join venture to develop an oilfield in Siberia, was was thrown out by the High Court with the judge declaring that England would not be the appropriate forum to hear the case. Abramovich spent most of his time in Russia, visiting the UK on a business visa just 57 days last year (most of which were related to football matches). Furtermore, the business associates involved in the case were also based in Russia. (see the Times for full story).
Photo: James Cridland