It’s the last week of the Michaelmas Term. The only hearings listed are the linked appeals of R (AM) v The Director of Public Prosecutions; R (AM) v Director of Public Prosecution; and R (Nicklinson & Anor) v Ministry of Justice. These ‘right to die’ cases will be heard by a panel of nine (L Neuberger, L Hale, L Mance, L Kerr, L Clarke, L Wilson, L Sumption, L Reed and L Hughes) from today until Thursday 19 December 2013.

In AM the respondent suffered a brainstem stroke that left him unable to speak and virtually unable to move. He wishes to travel to Switzerland and commit suicide using the services of Dignitas, but cannot do so without assistance. The respondent applied for judicial review of the DPP’s policy statement on public interest factors relating to discretion to prosecute for assisting or encouraging suicide. The issues for the Supreme Court are whether the DPP contravened the Human Rights Act 1998 s 6(1) by interfering with the appellant’s rights under ECHR, art 8 because the policy statement makes the consequences of a person encouraging or assisting him to commit suicide insufficiently foreseeable, and also whether art 8 requires the DPP not to discourage the sort of compassionate assistance with suicide the respondent seeks.

In Nicklinson/Lamb the original claimant also suffered ‘locked in’ syndrome following a stroke. He sought assistance with ending his own life, but died of pneumonia a week after losing his case in the High Court. The second appellant was added as a party to the appeal after Mr Nicklinson’s death to continue the argument that a common law defence of necessity to murder should be read into the Suicide Act 1961 s 2(1). Mr Lamb was involved in a car accident which left him almost completely paralysed, and he experiences a significant amount of constant pain.

On Wednesday 18 December 2013 the Supreme Court will hand down judgment in the following: G v Scottish Ministers & Anor; West London Mental Health NHS Trust v Chhabra; and AA (Somalia) v Entry Clearance Officer (Addis Ababa).

The following Supreme Court judgments remain outstanding:

Re an application by Central Craigavon Ltd for Judicial Review, heard 15 May 2013.

R v Ahmad & Anor, heard 29 July 2013.

R (HS2 Action Alliance Ltd) v The Secretary of State for Transport & Anor, R (Heathrow Hub Limited & Anor) v The Secretary of State for Transport & Anor, and R (Buckinghamshire County Council & Ors) v The Secretary of State for Transport, heard 15 – 16 October 2013.

P (by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor) v Cheshire West and Chester Council, and P & Anor (by their litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) v Surrey County Council, heard 21 – 23 October 2013.

Kennedy v The Charity Commission, heard 29 – 31 October 2013.

Williams v Central Bank of Nigeria, heard 4 – 5 November 2013.

EM (Eritrea) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department, heard 6 – 7 November 2013.

In the matter of LC (Children) (Nos. 1 and 2), heard 11 November 2013.

Richardson & Anor v DPP, heard 12 November 2013.

Coventry & Ors v Lawrence & Anor, heard 12 – 14 November 2013.

Cramaso LLP v Ogilvie-Grant, Earl of Seafield & Ors, heard 18 – 19 November 2013.

Stott v Thomas Cook Tour Operators Ltd, heard 20 November 2013.

Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs v Marks and Spencer plc, heard 25 – 26 November 2013.

A v Secretary of State for the Home Department, heard 26 – 27 November 2013.

R (Eastenders Cash and Carry plc & Ors) v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, heard 27 – 28 November 2013.

Marley v Rawlings & Anor, heard 3 – 4 December 2013.

 R (British Sky Broadcasting Ltd) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, heard 3 December 2013.

In the matter of an application of Raymond Brownlee for Judicial Review, heard 5 December 2013.

R v O’Brien, heard 5 December 2013.

R (T & Anor) v SSHD & Anor, heard 9 – 10 December 2013.

R v Mackle (Nos. 1, 2 and 3), and R v McLaughlin, heard 11 – 12 December 2013.