Assisted Dying and the Law:
The Duo that Works Better as an Ensemble

by Surekha Sujith

This piece argues for the legalisation of assisted dying in the United Kingdom by analysing the state of affairs as they exist and the legal complexities and complications that surround it. It discusses the struggles faced by those who desperately require assistance in dying, and their alternatives. It critiques the legislative body for its attitude toward assisted dying. Finally, it suggests a workable solution to implement and legalise assisted dying in the United Kingdom.

An Exploration of Sectioning under the Mental
Health Act: Failure of the Current (Medical) Model to Protect Patient Rights

by Scarlett Stock

Sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended) (MHA) allow individuals to be civilly detained for assessment or treatment without their consent. With Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights providing a ‘Right to Liberty’, though not an absolute right, the MHA represents extreme interference with human rights. As will be shown, the MHA s 2 and s 3 operate under the medical model. The traditional medical model approach purports a ‘focus on biological cure or management of the condition or person’ and ‘involves a power imbalance in the relationship between professional and patient’ with ‘diagnosis and classification functioning as ends.’ Within mental health law ‘a medicalised model of disability has been prominent,’ and the most recent MHA intended to move away from this and encourage patient involvement. However, whether this is the case in practice shall be explored whilst taking into consideration the Act, its Code of Practice, and case law. These sources will determine whether the medical model is still prominent in practice– but the words of the act and some realities reflect different models; hence, an evaluation is necessary to
determine whether this is the most effective way forward for mental health law.

Owens v Owens:
Until Divorce Do Us Part

by Sasha Spiteri

When filing for divorce in the United Kingdom, current law requires couples to apportion blame, which encourages bitterness and hostility throughout the proceedings. Where an application is contested, parties must substantiate their claims to a court where it must then be regarded as something more than trivial. Recent cases outline the troubles that may arise from a proceeding where courts feel as though a marriage has irretrievably broken down but through application of the law cannot grant a divorce. Many academics, lawyers, and judges feel there is a need to introduce a ‘no-fault’ based system of divorce law which would enable parties to unilaterally file for divorce in an amicable and civilised fashion.

International Criminal Justice:
Why is the Criminalisation of FGM failing?

by Natalie Alfred

Criminal justice is a concept that is integrated in the laws of every state, but what if the enforcement of such laws is little to none when it comes to a certain crime? This is the case in relation to the prosecution of female genital mutilation (FGM). In the international sphere, breaches of human rights can be prosecuted not only by the national state but also by the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, FGM is a crime that is not prosecuted by either the ICC or many states in which this practice occurs, though it is considered a fundamental breach of human rights and international criminal law. This article explores the reasons why this is the case, especially on a domestic level, in regard to the cultures of these communities and how it can be mitigated. Though it recognises the limitations that exist both culturally and politically, this article contains practical steps that could be taken, as well as considerations, when pursuing the prosecution of FGM. Furthermore, it looks to the future with ways to eradicate the practice of FGM specifically through education with the help of non-governmental organisations.

 

Corporate Liability in the UK and Singapore:
Should Prosecution be Directed at the Corporation or Humans?

by Natalie Alfred

Liability is very easily established by the courts because it is usually clear what the crime is and who has committed it. However, in the case of corporations it is not always so straight forward. Though separate legal personality allows a corporation to be party to a dispute, criminal or civil, instances of humans taking part in criminal activity for a corporation make it difficult to justify the prosecution of the corporation rather than the individual. This is highly dependent on the type of criminal conduct that has taken place. Comparing UK and Singapore Law, this article will identify the distinction between corporate crimes and other criminal activity. This is essential in determining the mechanisms available to the courts in deciding how a corporation can be prosecuted. Different types of crimes that a corporation may be liable for are also explored within this context, highlighting the problems that arise when a corporation rather than an individual is prosecuted. Furthermore, it mentions the role corporate culture plays in establishing when it is in fact best to prosecute a corporation for a crime with case examples from both jurisdictions. Finally, it briefly outlines the criminal context in which an individual should be prosecuted.

 

Why Do We Obey the Law?
An Evaluation of the Theory of Gratitude

by James Milton

Discussion on the theory of law will often consider the legitimacy of the concept of political obligation. This concerns the moral duty of citizens to obey the law of the state in which they dwell. In his publications, ADM Walker refers to the gratitude-based theory of obligation, which simply put, suggests that citizens obey the law out of a sense of gratitude that is generated from the benefits that the state provides them. This article will examine Walker’s theory, as well as touching on an earlier edition of the argument provided by Socrates, before ultimately concluding that the theory of gratitude cannot pose as a successful model for political obligation.This conclusion is drawn from Walker’s poor understanding of the concept of gratitude, and the instability of basing political obligation on an emotion. Instead, this article determines that the theory of fair play, which has been popularised by HLA Hart, is a model that is better suited to the concept of political obligation.

 

At the Intersections of Gender and Indigenousness:
A Holistic Approach to Remedying Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada

by Ashley Paige Hobson-Garcia

This article explores the issue of violence against Indigenous women in Canada by discussing it alongside the current legal framework and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It explores how existing instruments may provide a remedy and considers approaches for solutions.
The author was awarded the Victoria Fisher Memorial Prize for 2017.

 

Defying Intervention

by Armen Dumanian

This article seeks to validate the necessity of an independent judicial system within the United Kingdom. With reference to statute, case law and academic publications, there is a consensus amongst legal scholars that nonjudicial interests, despite their alleged benefit to society, are capable of infringing on the rights and freedoms of the citizens they intend to protect. Therefore, in order to uphold the democratic value of the United Kingdom, judges should refrain from devising verdicts based on interests which exist outside of the law, ensuring impartiality and equity.

The Big Boys’ Club:
Why We Need a More Diverse Judiciary

by Anosha Khan

Judicial diversity has been a major concern of the legal world for the past few decades. Although general improvements have been made over the years, the issue of diversity remains unresolved. Traditionally, the bench was known for its similarity, with individuals from specific demographic groups being favoured over others. This resulted in an air of homogeneity which failed to represent the needs of society. Although the recent implementation of legislation in this area has encouraged a shift, it is evident that the lack of representation still exists today. By using the deficit model and trickle up theory, this article illustrates the problems in this field and the steps that need to be taken in the future.