Thursday 10 December 2009

Pro-life disabled rights campaigner challenges new Supreme Court

Alison Davis, the well-known pro-life disabled rights advocate, is heading a challenge to July's House of Lords judgment in favour of Debbie Purdy, the assisted suicide campaigner. SPUC supporters will know Alison well through her many years as co-ordinator of No Less Human, a group within SPUC representing the disabled.

Alison's challenge, which is being backed by the Christian Legal Centre, is directed to the new Supreme Court, which has replaced the House of Lords judicial committee (the Law Lords sitting as a court) as the UK's highest court. Alison's submission calls on the Supreme Court "to reconsider and hear fresh argument on the case of Purdy", due to the apparent bias of Lord Phillips. Lord Phillips was the senior judge in the Purdy case and is now the president of the supreme court. He had given an interview to The Telegraph after the judgment in which he expressed personal sympathy for people seeking assisted suicide

The House of Lords judgment in favour of Debbie Purdy has now led to the director of public prosecutions (DPP) drafting guidance which undermines the right to life of disabled people. The DPP is conducting a public consultation on the draft guidance, which closes next Wednesday (16 December). SPUC has produced a briefing to help you respond to the consultation.

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