WJEC AS Law: Study and Revision Guide (Legacy spec)

‘It would not be correct to say that every moral obligation involves a legal duty; but every legal duty is founded on a moral obligation.’ LCJ Coleridge in R v Instan (1893) . Discuss the role of morality within the law of England and Wales. Grade boost Any answer on law and morality requires a thorough discussion of the Hart Devlin debate with supporting authority for each theorist. This topic can be examined with the Rule of Law, so ensure you have a thorough understanding of both topics. & QUICKFIRE stretch & challenge stretch challenge Hart Devlin debate Wolfenden Report 1957 This recommended legalisation of homosexuality and prostitution. ▪ Devlin – opposed the report – common morality necessary to keep society together. The Law has a duty to uphold the common morality. Immoral behaviour is judged by the standard of the right-minded person. ▪ Hart – approved of the report – the use of the law to enforce morals was unnecessary, undesirable and morally unacceptable. Criticisms ▪ The standard of the right-minded person is a dif cult one. ▪ Individuals should have free choice. Judicial support for Devlin’s view can be seen in the following cases: Shaw v DPP (1961) , Knuller Ltd v DPP (1972) , R v Gibson (1990) , R v Brown (1992) The Warnock Committee The Committee considered issues relating to conception (IVF) and pregnancy. Recommendations from the 1984 Warnock Committee Report included: ▪ Setting up an independent statutory body to monitor, regulate and license infertility services and embryo experiments – Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority set up in 1990. ▪ Experiments on embryos up to 14 days should be legal. ▪ Surrogacy arrangements should be illegal. ▪ Many of the Report’s recommendations became law in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. Controversial cases involving infertility treatment and ‘designer babies’ include: ▪ R v Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, ex parte Blood (1997) ▪ R (on the application of Quintavalle) v Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (2005) (designer babies) ▪ Evans v UK (2007) Reform 2008 – Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act – replaces the 1990 Act, it provides for: ▪ The establishment of a Regulatory Authority for Tissues and Embryos. ▪ Extending the statutory storage period for embryos from 5 to 10 years. ▪ Hybrid embryos (both human and animal DNA) may be created for research purposes and kept for 14 days. ▪ Provision for allowing ‘saviour siblings’. ▪ Sex election of embryos for non-medical reasons is prohibited. ▪ ‘Right to know’ biological parentage for those born as a result of infertility treatments. AS Law: Study and Revision Guide 10