A public consultation on the DPP's interim policy for prosecutors on assisted suicide
The purpose of this consultation is to seek a wide range of views on the Director of Public Prosecution's (DPP's) recently published interim policy on assisted suicide.
On 30 July 2009, the House of Lords Appellate Committee gave its judgment in the case of R (on the application of Purdy) v Director of Public Prosecutions. The Law Lords required the DPP to publish an offence-specific policy identifying the facts and circumstances which he will take into account in deciding whether or not to consent to a prosecution under section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1961.
On the same day, the DPP announced that he intended to issue an interim policy before the end of September 2009, and to launch a public consultation exercise. Once the DPP has considered all the responses, he will decide whether, and if so, how to amend the policy.
We welcome your comments.
We have identified 9 questions which are outlined in the Consultation Paper on which we would particularly invite comment, including a final question which asks for any other comments that people wish to make.
If you are replying by email, we should be grateful if you not would attach any other document to the consultation paper. There are limits on the size of documents that we are able to accept and any completed consultation document which has an attachment runs the risk of not being delivered. If you wish to send an attachment to us, please write to us separately at the email address in this policy.
If you use a special software programme to read the Consultation Document and you find that you have difficulty in reading it, please get in touch with the CPS Assisted Suicide Policy Team whose contact details are set out in the How to Respond section.
If you would like to return your replies to the questions at the back of the Consultation Document by post, please download the PDF version of the interim policy.
Both written and electronic responses to the consultation are acceptable.
Please be aware that if you complete and return this document by email, you will be responding over the open internet. If you would prefer, please complete and return the PDF version to the postal address given below.
Please include your name, organisation (if applicable), postal address and email address.
Closing date for responses: 16 December 2009
Responses can be sent by post to:
Assisted Suicide Policy Team
Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters - 6th floor
50 Ludgate Hill
or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is an Easy Read version of the consultation paper in Word format (7.5Mb) and an Easy Read version of the consultation paper in PDF format (0.5Mb). that you can download and print.
If you require a copy of this Consultation Paper in any other format, for example, audio or large print, please contact the postal address above.
We will consider every individual response received. A summary of the consultation responses will be published on the CPS website in accordance with the Government's guidelines.
Responses: Confidentiality and disclaimer
The information you send us may be passed to colleagues within the CPS, the Government or related agencies. Furthermore, information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be published or disclosed in accordance with the access to information legislation including the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
If you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this it would be helpful if you could briefly explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not be regarded as binding on the CPS.
Please ensure your response is marked clearly if you wish your response and name to be kept confidential. Confidential responses will be included in any statistical summary of numbers of comments received and views expressed. The CPS will process your personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 – in the majority of circumstances this will mean that your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.
The following consultation documents are available in Welsh language:
- Read this main consultation page in Welsh language, in PDF format
- Read the interim prosecution policy on assisted suicide in Welsh language, in PDF format
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (DBIS) sets seven consultation criteria for running effective public consultations. These key consultation criteria are reproduced below.
Criterion 1 - When to consult
Formal consultation should take place at a stage when there is scope to influence the policy outcome.
Criterion 2 - Duration of consultation exercises
Consultations should normally last for at least 12 weeks with consideration given to longer timescales where feasible and sensible.
Criterion 3 - Clarity of scope and impact
Consultation documents should be clear about the consultation process, what is being proposed, the scope to influence and the expected costs and benefits of the proposals.
Criterion 4 - Accessibility of consultation exercises
Consultation exercises should be designed to be accessible to, and clearly targeted at, those people the exercise is intended to reach.
Criterion 5 - The burden of consultation
Keeping the burden of consultation to a minimum is essential if consultations are to be effective and if consultees' buy-in to the process is to be obtained.
Criterion 6 - Responsiveness of consultation exercises
Consultation responses should be analysed carefully and clear feedback should be provided to participants following the consultation.
Criterion 7 - Capacity to consult
Officials running consultations should seek guidance in how to run an effective consultation exercise and share what they have learned from the experience.