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This paper considers the crime of assisting suicide, in the wake of the prosecutorial policy issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions in February 2010. The policy, which affects England and Wales, states that prosecutions will not be undertaken, notwithstanding the criminal nature of an act under s.2 of the Suicide Act 1961, where a number of factors are (or are not) present. It will be argued that this has the effect of causing a schism within the criminal law: whereas assisting suicide remains a crime under the substantive law, it has undergone de facto decriminalisation in the circumstances outlined under the new policy. This places a person considering his or her potential criminal liability as an assistant in an invidious position.

In: Law, Morality and Power: Global Perspectives on Violence and the State
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This paper considers the crime of assisting suicide, in the wake of the prosecutorial policy issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions in February 2010. The policy, which affects England and Wales, states that prosecutions will not be undertaken, notwithstanding the criminal nature of an act under s.2 of the Suicide Act 1961, where a number of factors are (or are not) present. It will be argued that this has the effect of causing a schism within the criminal law: whereas assisting suicide remains a crime under the substantive law, it has undergone de facto decriminalisation in the circumstances outlined under the new policy. This places a person considering his or her potential criminal liability as an assistant in an invidious position.

In: Law, Morality and Power: Global Perspectives on Violence and the State
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