On 15th April 2016 the High Court of England and Wales ruled that while there is no statutory power to order DNA testing to establish paternity, it possesses an inherent power to do so in cases where the absence of a remedy would lead to injustice.
21 year old woman given suspended sentence for inducing abortion with pills
The defendant, who at the age of 19 procured an abortion by purchasing pills on the Internet was given a three months suspended sentence at Belfast Crown Court. The defendant could not afford to travel to England to obtain a legal termination. However, she sought advice from a clinic in England about what pills to buy and induced an abortion.
She pleaded guilty to two offences: procuring her own abortion by using a poison, and supplying a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage, contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
This case concerned an appeal under Scots Law from a decision of the Lord Ordinary on a petition for judicial review. The petitioner suffered from Parkinson’s disease and anticipated that eventually he would require assistance to end his life. He sought clarification as to the factors that would be taken into account in deciding whether or not to prosecute the person who assisted him.