Outer Temple Chambers barristers Charles Foster, Ben Bradley and Katarina Sydow were instructed by Barlow Robbins to intervene on behalf of Care Not Killing in the conjoined appeals of R (Nicklinson & Lamb) v Ministry of Justice and R (AM) v Director of Public Prosecutions.
Foster and Sydow appeared before a panel of nine Supreme Court justices between 16 and 19 December 2013 in a hearing that considered the proportionality of the current prohibition on assisted suicide in the UK.
Paul Lamb and Jane Nicklinson (bringing an action in her own right and on behalf of her late husband Tony) averred that section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1961, which prohibits assisted suicide, is incompatible with their respective rights under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Lamb and Nicklinson asked the Supreme Court to extend the defence of necessity to apply to a person who assists in the suicide of a severely disabled person. Alternatively, they invited the Supreme Court to declare that section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1961 is incompatible with their rights under article 8.