The has under the English constitution, the
The Law on Assisted Suicide Act 1961 section 2, clearly states that “a person D that commits an offence, if D does an act of capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person and D act was intended to encourage or assists suicide or attempted suicide”. Noel Douglas Conway v The Secretary of State for Justice 2017 EWHC 2447 (Admin) 127 (Sales LJ) claim was that “The prohibition on assisting suicide in the Suicide Act 1961 s.2 did not unlawfully breach the ECHR art.8 rights of a terminally ill person with a serious progressive wasting disease who wished to be able to exercise control over the time of his death”. The controversy over Assisted Suicide and Assisted Dying has been debated for years, many aspects such as morality, religion and maintaining public order have always clouded Courts and Judges Judgement. Parliament is not apprehensive of the social views and innovation in society. Therefore this debate as to who should be legitimate in this to be the legislatures still holds. In terms of the Noel Douglas Conway v The Secretary of State for Justice Case and Assisted Dying, Assisted Suicide as a whole, in this area it is accepted that Parliament should have more of an involvement to maintain morals, provide guidance for society and should be the ones who hold the authority to make the Law. Parliament is the main legislatures Dicey stated that ” Parliament has under the English constitution, the right to make or unmake any Law “. Aspects such as religion, morals are known to cloud peoples judgement of whether the Act should be passed, therefore Judges are merely not capable to decide whether Assisted suicide and Assisted Dying are appropriate for each individual that has a claim. In Nicklinson in the Court of Appeal, “Lord Judge CJ aptly referred to Parliament as representing “the conscience of the nation”. For opinions that cause “profoundly sensitive questions about the nature of our society, and its values and standards, on which passionate but contradictory opinions are held”. By Lord Judge CJ aptly implying that Parliament is sovereignty, it’s able to set morals and principles for the Uk which the people must abide by. However Judges do maintain morals and provide guidance for society by considering the claims, Judges take into account the variety of views when considering their overall judgement especially with cases that concern human life because a mistake could disrupt maintaining the morals of society and it could falsely set the wrong guidance for society. Topics such as Assisted Dying and Assisted suicide Judges are fit to make the final judgement, Judges read the cases and consider all the points, such as Judges like Sales LJ have taken in all considerations, and have been very careful when making their final judgement. Especially with the case of Noel Douglas Conway v The Secretary of State for Justice, this was a case that got a lot of attention publicly meaning that if the Judges accepted the case and passed the Law wrongly it would result in in a public crisis resulting in wrongful deaths for instance in “Washington State’s own 2014 reports” show that the people who have ended their own life ended their life for unjustifiable reasons ” 59% of those who died under the legislation self-identified as feeling a burden”. This is a clear example of why Judges should make the overall judgement on issues such as assisted dying, so they can avoid having blood on their hands and to avoid unjustifiable wrongful deaths that would disrupt moral order.”It is accepted in this area for the legislation to seek to lay down clear justifiable standards to avoid distressing and difficult disputes at the end of life”. Parliament should be more involved, for a person to decide to end their life they would of need consider everything and everyone their death will affect and justify why death is the best option, this is a decision that I solely do not think a dying person will be able to make. “Oregon Death With Dignity reports, many of the people who decide to end their life due to terminal illness do not want to die because of the extent of physical pain that the illness is giving them but because of the loss of autonomy, inability to do the things that make life enjoyable, loss of dignity, and fear of being a burden all come before pain”. Parliament should be more involved because they have the authority “to make Law” their involvement would help to justify standards by them sticking to the Law and following the guidelines of the act they are helping the patient to avoid “distressing and difficult disputes at the end of life”. However, on the other hand, you could say that Judges should be solely involved with the decision making of the cases, Judges like Sales LJ have taken in all considerations, and have been very careful when making their final judgement. Especially with the case of Noel Douglas Conway this was a case that many people tuned in to see the overall judgement because of the importance of the topic and to see whether the act would be passed for Noel. The evidence I have to support this is that ” Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying”, stated “It is clear the current Law does not work, when every eight days someone from this country travels to Dignitas; every year 300 dying people end their own lives at home in England and Wales”. This shows that Parliaments Laws are not working in order to keep moral order, therefore Judges and Courts would be suitable in this role as the main legislatures because they read the cases on this controversial topic and they consider ways they can make a judgement by applying statues and considering the different social views by listening to the peoples considerations they are keeping moral order and avoiding slippery slopes.It should not be accepted in this area for the legislation such as Parliament to seek to lay down clear justifiable standards due to the world becoming more circular views of Assisted dying and Assisted suicide is drastically changing In terms of legislation is has grown Miers (1989) “has thus shown that the volume of primary legislation rose steadily from the average of 745 pages per session in the 1950s to 1,525 pages in the 1980s. By the end of the 2000s, that average had increased to 3224(our figure based on data in the cracknel and Clements, 2012)” This is due to social views changing and social life becoming more complicated for example due to negative attitudes and views towards homosexuals in 1967s, homosexual relations were deemed immoral by society and became illegal for homosexuals to immerse in sexual acts like marriage or adoption. However due to the change in social views and society Laws have been changed, this is similar to Assisted dying and Assisted Suicide a decade ago topics like these would be overruled with religious due to the vast majority of people being upholding religious views. Referring back to question you could say that Courts and Judges should be the main legislatures for topics like this because they are more up to date with a change in social views. In Pretty v DPP at para 54, Lord Steyn explained that “the subject of euthanasia and assisted dying have been deeply controversial” for a very long time, and continued: “The arguments and counter-arguments have ranged widely. There is a conviction that human life is sacred and that the corollary is that euthanasia and assisted suicide are always wrong. This view is supported by the Roman Catholic Church, Islam and other religions. There is also a secular view, shared sometimes by atheists and agnostics, that human life is sacred. On the other side, there are many millions who do not hold these beliefs. This agrees with my statement because Lord Steyn is basically stating that he is aware of the different social views, he’s assimilated theses social views when making judgements on cases. This shows that Judges and Courts are more up to date with social views and how that change has adapted society, therefore, Judges and Courts would be the most appropriate form of legislation. However, on the other hand, you could say that Parliament should be the main legislature to avoid creating a slippery slope in para 50, “Lady Hale expressed similar views at paras 116-120”. “As Lord Hoffmann and Lord Mance explained, that the court has jurisdiction to consider whether a provision such as section 2 is compatible, or can be rendered compatible, with article 8, because that is part of the court’s function as determined by Parliament in the 1998 Human Rights Act”. This statement made by Lord Hoffmann and Lord Mance shows that Parliament should be the main legislatures because if they set rules and guidelines for the Courts surely they hold the sovereignty to make Laws to keep moral order. It should not be accepted in this area for the legislation such as Parliament to seek to lay down clear justifiable standards. The evidence I have to support this, ” In Koch v Germany (2013) 56 EHRR 6″. In paragraph 59 the court was able to relate the current topic to article 8. “an individual’s right to decide by what means and at what point his or her life will end, provided he or she is capable of freely reaching a decision on this question and acting in consequence, is one of the aspects of the right to respect for private life within the meaning of article 8 of the Convention”. This statement supports my view that Courts and Judges should be the main legislatures because they have the ability to interpret Laws and articles and relate it to the case while considering all the social views when making judgement in order to avoid slippery slopes they justify their judgements and Courts often have more than one statement, this enables the people to see the variety of views and relate to it in some way. However, on the other hand, you could say that Parliament should be the main legislatures because they are sovereign. ” In Pretty v DPP at para 54, Lord Steyn explained that There is a risk that assisted suicide may be abused in the sense that such people may be persuaded that they want to die or that they ought to want to die. Another strand is that, when one knows the genuine wish of a terminally ill patient to die, they should not be forced against their will to endure a life they no longer wish to endure”. This statement shows that we should stick to current the Law on Assisted dying and Assisted suicide made by Parliament because they are sovereign, and their Law on Assisted suicide and Assisted dying has worked many years despite the fact that society is changing and social views are developing its manage to maintain moral standards. In conclusion, Parliament has given away a lot of its Sovereignty away in recent years to Courts and Judges, which is why it’s questionable to say that Parliament is absolutely sovereign. Nevertheless, it is clear to see that although Parliament as Dicey said can ‘make or unmake any Law’ its ability to do so is questionable Parliamentary Sovereignty seemingly has a higher status than Courts and Judges.