Yearworth v North Bristol NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 37 In the past, the law has refused to say that someone has their own body. If you can own your body, you can sell it, including organ sales, prostitution, or slave selling. It also means that you can decide whether to destroy it or not, but until 1961, suicide was a crime. Obviously, it was more important to prosecute those who had planned or encouraged suicide, which is always illegal, or suicide attempts, than to try to prosecute people who had successfully committed suicide! However, this rule has been put to the test by changes in medicine which now mean that we can mean that the (old) parts of our body are our “property”. The plaintiffs in the Yearworth case had deposited semen samples at a clinic before undergoing cancer chemotherapy after being told the therapy could make them infertile. The hospital did not store the samples carefully enough and they were damaged, and the men in the case suffered psychiatric injuries when they discovered they could not have children now. The problem was that because semen was no longer part of their body, they could not make claims for bodily harm, but the law would not have designated bodily fluids as personal property for the reasons mentioned above. However, the court ruled that the semen samples were personal property because of the control the men had over them – they were the ones who could decide what to do with them, despite certain restrictions imposed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryo Act 1990, and so the relationship had most of the characteristics of the property. The applicants could therefore rely on psychiatric damage caused by the negligent damage to their property.
This case seems to be the right decision on the facts, but it opens up a whole area of law that is normally tightly closed. Can you think of similar cases where we might feel less comfortable with such an outcome? And how should the courts decide where to draw the line? Is your kidney your property when you give it to a friend, doctors damage it, and you suffer psychological distress because your friend can`t have a transplant? What if you change your mind about saving your friend and decide to sell it? What`s the difference? Below, we have listed the landmark cases that defined the British legal system and made it what it is today. The criminal case R. v. White played an important role in establishing causation and determining the cause of the crime through an act. The case established the “without” test, which asks, “But would the result have been achieved for the accused`s actions?” This is an important test for establishing defendant liability, particularly in cases of murder or manslaughter. With the help of colleagues from academia and the legal profession, the Judicial Power Project compiled a list of 50 “problematic” cases. The cases are listed in no particular order. For a brief discussion of the purpose of this list and how we compiled it, click here. A PDF version of the list can be found here.
Click on the tabs below to read a brief summary of each case. The Law Lords have held that a person who does not have a lawful right to enter or reside in the United Kingdom cannot be deported if it interferes with that person`s family life in a manner which is “serious enough to constitute a breach of Article 8” and that such cases are not to be regarded as exceptional. With this “test” without standards, the Law Lords pushed elected politicians` assessment of the proper balance between family life and immigration control in judges` politics. Read this blog for our selection of famous UK legal cases that have left an impression on the public for various reasons.  shepwedd.com/knowledge/four-landmark-cases-changed-legal-landscape-uk After a lengthy investigation, it turns out that the house burned down in an arson attack. Presho sued the hotel`s owner, Patrick Doohan, and although the arson could not be proven to have been perpetrated by Doohan, Presho was awarded damages for trespassing and disturbance, as Doohan was clearly responsible for removing the remains of the house and benefited from its destruction. In 2013, Presho said: “The island is beautiful. What happened to the house on the island is very sad and caused me a lot of trouble.
But at the end of the day, you just have to forgive everyone because you can`t keep everything. Did these strange and wonderful cases make you curious to learn more about the law? Then you should now check out our introductory law and law school preparation courses! Photo credit: Lady Justice; casebooks; Cricket; Contract; Pringles; Surgeon; Turnips; Silver fox; Cliff; Geode; empty field.  theconversation.com/eight-cases-from-across-history-which-still-shape-the-law-today-103466 Some introduce you to an area of law, while others address specific rules, but I hope they raise all the questions worth thinking about. However, there is a common theme that is a common theme across all law studies – what makes us treat very similar circumstances differently, and how do we know where to draw the line between them? These summaries are brief and are intended only to introduce you to the concepts, and not to be a final presentation of cases for review or application. Unfortunately, there is never an alternative to footwork itself! Here is my selection of some of the most important cases in history: those that can teach us something about how the law reflects social and political attitudes while revealing the principles and patterns that make up the country`s version of justice. As a law student, you will find that some cases stay with you throughout your studies and even beyond because of their great legal importance to UK law. Or it could be that they are just weird! Read on for our selection of famous legal cases in the UK that have left an impression on the public for the reasons mentioned above. Griggs v. Duke Power Co 401 U.S. 424 (1971) This U.S. Supreme Court case on discrimination has had a global impact and really makes you think about how a requirement, even if it is not externally discriminatory, can have that effect. Griggs complained that the company he worked for required a high school diploma and a certain IQ test score to be able to work in his higher-paying department, even though neither a high IQ nor a diploma was required to do the job well.
The company had also included a rule that blacks could not work in the higher-paid department, but this was removed when the Civil Rights Act made such clauses illegal. However, the two remaining requirements in practice prevented blacks from accessing roles, as they had graduated from high school much less often. The Supreme Court applied Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which states that if such a test has a “different impact” on a particular minority group, the employer must prove that it is related to the workplace and “consistent with the needs of the business.” It concluded that this was not the case in this case and that the requirements should be removed. This is called indirect discrimination – for example, a company cannot outwardly refuse to hire members of a particular minority group or try to influence them further with a policy, but their policies or workplace requirements can have that effect. Examples include companies that do not allow flexible working (but could reasonably allow it) so that Muslims can go home for Friday prayers, or that pay part-time workers less per hour – more women work part-time, so the impact will be disproportionate on women. Indirect discrimination is a defence in the UK, so it is always possible to justify a practice that affects one minority group more than another, but it is a very useful tool to go beyond the obvious discriminatory statements that have almost completely disappeared today. Take our two-minute quiz to find out which shadow lawyer is most like you! The case was also known to lawyers when, after the initial hearing, it became known that one of the ruling Law Lords, Lord Hoffmann, was a director of Amnesty International, a party in these cases. The entire hearing had to be repeated to show that “justice must not only be done, but also seen”. Donoghue v Stevenson  AC 562 The law of tort covers areas where one person “wrongly” causes injury to another person without both parties having to be in a contractual relationship. The name comes from the fact that tort liability is French for “evil” – it is the law of injustice. The great case that has expanded this area of law is also strange.
Ms. Donoghue was in a café with her friend who bought her a ginger beer. She was sick after drinking some of it because the bottle contained a dead snail! However, she had not purchased the bottle, so she could not sue for breach of contract – she did not have a contract with the merchant or bottle manufacturer. Instead, she filed a case of negligence, under tort law, claiming that the bottle manufacturer was obligated to ensure that the ginger beer was made in a clean place where the snails could not fit into the bottles. Lord Atkin expounded here the famous “principle of good neighbourliness”: I have a duty to “those who are so closely and directly affected by my act that I should reasonably regard them as so affected when I direct my mind to the acts or omissions that are questioned”. It sounds like you need to think about the potential impact of everything you do on everyone it might affect, but in reality, there are many limits to the law of negligence – including the fact that you have to violate that duty of care.