“This paper addresses the office of the jurisprudent and the role of jurisprudence in the characterisation of the lawful relations of those engaged in assisted dying under medical supervision. Over the last forty years the juristic and jurisprudential representation of medical and healthcare law has developed into a distinct academic project, yet, for many, it does not provide an adequate juridical account of the assisted dying. Perhaps this should be no surprise since the question of how someone might die lawfully, or die well, before the common law is contested with great intensity. A number of answers as to why such disputes continue can be clearly stated in disciplines outside of law. However it is often hard to give proper shape to the jurisprudential questions at issue. In reflecting on this situation, I would like to return the jurisprudence of assisted dying to the understanding of the office of the jurisprudent. Whilst the concerns of office are not always treated as bearing much weight of meaning, the language and ethics of office, I will argue, does provide an important way of understanding how the dignities, jurisdictions, duties, privileges and rights of public and institutional life are assumed and performed. It also provides a distinct form of evaluation. Locating the responsibilities of the office of the jurisprudent provides one way of coming to terms with how jurisprudents and citizens might care for the conduct and commitments of lawful relations.
In this seminar, I would like to take up the challenges to office raised in the recent case of Nicklinson, R (on the application of) v A Primary Care Trust  EWCA Civ 961 (31 July 2013). I present an argument here for treating jurisprudence both as a training in a conduct of office and as a discourse addressing the conduct of a lawful life. The focus of this paper lies on the commitments of office and ethic of responsibility that shape state-centred civil jurisprudence and the responsibilities of jurisprudents in considering the conduct of lawful relations subject to civil authority.”
Date: 11th November 2013, 6.00pm
Location: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR
Charge: See website for details
More information can be found here.