Regina v dudley and stephens. Cannibalism on the High Seas: the Common Law's Perfect Storm 2019-01-04

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Regina v. Dudley and Stephens Case Brief

regina v dudley and stephens

I am using these two different frameworks because they both have two different requirements in order to justify punishment. Dudley and Stephens should be found guilty under a retributive framework of punishment, but be found innocent under a consequentialist one. Further, we will also explore the criticisms of the solutions found in the verdict as well as the later development of this legal issue. Was it more necessary to kill him than one of the grown men? Dudley and Stephens, the two sailors should not have been found guilty or charged with murder. Lewis Harcourt, a son and the private secretary of Sir William, strongly argued about short sentence only and while he was away shooting, Sir William announced the decision which was approved by Queen. That on the twelfth day the turtle were entirely consumed, and for the next eight days they had nothing to eat. Suddenly, the four men were crowded in a small dinghy, lost in the middle of the South Atlantic, at latitude 27 degrees 10 south and longitude 9 degrees 50 West: 1,600 miles for Cape of Good Hope, 2,000 from South America.

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Regina v. Dudley and Stephens

regina v dudley and stephens

The press equivocated while Huddleston struggled with the law, to the annoyance of defence counsel, led by Arthur Collins. But in , when two of the sailors were tried for murder, a court consisting of the top judges in the country found them guilty. Though law and morality are not the same, and many things may be immoral which are not necessarily illegal, yet the absolute divorce of law from morality would be of fatal consequence; and such divorce would follow if the temptation to murder in this case were to be held by law an absolute defence of it. They did not have any supply of water and food, except 1 lb. Due to a storm, the men were lost at sea in an open boat for approximately twenty-four days. Even earlier, American case law followed the same path Arp v. Necessity is of three sorts: Necessity of conservation of life, necessity of obedience, and necessity of the act of God or of a stranger.

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regina v dudley and stephens

But they have little application to the case before us, which must be decided on very different considerations. . Ned Brooks died in 1919. That there was no appreciable chance of saving life except by killing some one for the others to eat. That in this boat they had no supply of water and no supply of food, except two 1 lb. Is there, then, any authority for the proposition which has been presented to us? Neither are we in conflict with any opinion expressed upon the subject by the learned persons who formed the commission for preparing the Criminal Code. Under these circumstances the jury say that they are ignorant whether those who killed him were guilty of murder, and have referred it to this Court to determine what is the legal consequence which follows from the facts which they have found.

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R v Dudley and Stephens

regina v dudley and stephens

When cannibalism had occurred, the law turned a blind eye. In this case the weakest, the youngest, the most unresisting, was chosen. First of conservation of life ; if a man steal viands to satisfy his present hunger, this is no felony nor larceny. The principle set in this case theerefore appears to be that it is lawful to kill B where, as it is known, B is threatened with imminent death but even the short continuation of his life would kill A as well. And if upon the whole matter aforesaid by the said jurors in form aforesaid found the court shall be of opinion that the aforesaid killing of the said Richard Parker be neither felony and murder nor felony and manslaughter, then the said jurors on their oath say that the said Thomas Dudley and Edwin Stephens are not guilty of the premises in the indictment specified and charged upon them. It was with this contention that the Court was mainly concerned.

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R. v Dudley & Stephens

regina v dudley and stephens

Is it to be strength, or intellect, or what?. The obvious choice was Parker, who was the weakest and may have been in a coma by this point. That at the time of the act in question there was no sail in sight, nor any reasonable prospect of relief. It is plain that the principle leaves to him who is to profit by it to determine the necessity which will justify him in deliberately taking another's life to save his own. That they were carried to the port of Falmouth, and committed for trial at Exeter. Significance of Dudley and Stephens To conclude this analysis of the Dudley and Stephens case, let us contemplate the real significance of its decision.

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Theory of Jurisprudence: Regina v Dudley and Stephens

regina v dudley and stephens

We are often compelled to set up standards we cannot reach ourselves, and to lay down rules which we could not ourselves satisfy. Holmes, in which sailors were found guilty for throwing passengers overboard to save others, was, according to Lord Coleridge, correctly decided but on the somewhat strange ground that the proper mode of determining who was to be sacrificed was to vote upon the subject by ballot. Nor is this to be regretted. But by the 16th section of the Judicature Act, 1873, the courts of Oyer and Terminer and Gaol delivery are now made part of the High Court, and their jurisdiction is vested in it. The prisoner Stephens agreed to the act, but Brooks dissented from it.

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Regina v. Dudley and Stephens

regina v dudley and stephens

Taking Kray as a basis, in D. He died in 1900 and was buried at Sydney. He proposed they draw lots. That on the fourth day they caught a small turtle, upon which they subsisted for a few days, and this was the only food they had up to the twentieth day, when the act now in question was committed. The significance of Regina v. Further, he questioned who was qualified to make the decision of who should live and who die were the principle to be allowed. But if these definitions be looked at they will not be found to sustain this contention.

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R v Dudley and Stephens

regina v dudley and stephens

There remains the authority of my Brother Stephen, who, both in his Digest art. There is no safe path for judges to tread but to ascertain the law to the best of their ability and to declare it according to their judgment; and if in any case the law appears to be too severe on individuals, to leave it to the Sovereign to exercise that prerogative of mercy which the Constitution has intrusted to the hands fittest to dispense it. To access this section, please or. There remains to be considered the real question in the case - whether killing under the circumstances set forth in the verdict be or be not murder. That the three men fed upon the body and blood of the boy for four days.

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Regina v. Dudley and Stephens Case Brief

regina v dudley and stephens

Regardless of an attorney A. The boat was drifting on the ocean, probably more than a thousand miles away from land. Lord Bacon was great even as a lawyer; but it is permissible to much smaller men, relying upon principle and on the authority of others, the equals and even the superiors of Lord Bacon as lawyers, to question the soundness of his dictum. It is further admitted that there was in this case no such excuse, unless the killing was justified by what has been called necessity. They and two other crew members Brooks and Parker managed to get to a lifeboat with limited rations. However, they were sensible of the men's awful predicament so while they were sentenced to the statutory death penalty, there was a recommendation for mercy.

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In Warm Blood: Some Historical and Procedural Aspects of Regina v. Dudley and Stephens on JSTOR

regina v dudley and stephens

The duty, in case of shipwreck, of a captain to his crew, of the crew to the passengers, of soldiers to women and children, as in the noble case of the Birkenhead; these duties impose on men the moral necessity, not of the preservation, but of the sacrifice of their lives for others, from which in no country, least of all, it is to be hoped, in England, will men ever shrink, as indeed, they have not shrunk. That under these circumstances there appeared to the prisoners every probability that unless they then fed or very soon fed upon the boy or one of themselves they would die of starvation. When July 24 dawned, with Parker breathing heavily, apparently comatose and sunken into the bottom of the open boat, Dudley had the wherewithal to kill slowly by bleeding him before natural death occurred to as to salvage the blood. Kray Ronald , stating that duress was available to an accessory to murder. Stratton and Others, striking and excellent as they are, were delivered in a political trial, where the question was whether a political necessity had arisen for deposing a Governor of Madras. There had been the Nottingham Gallery, sunk in 1710, and the French ship Méduse 1816 which inspired a famous painting, the Radeau de la Méduse now hanging in the Louvre adjacent image , and the George, which sunk en route from Quebec to Scotland in 1822.

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