“𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬? 𝐋𝐢𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞” (WYNG-Hatton Lecture 2014)
Speaker: 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐫 𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐧 𝐒𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫 𝐐𝐂, 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐫 𝐄𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐋𝐚𝐰, 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐚𝐦𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐠𝐞
“Is it possible to incur civil or criminal liability for transmitting your illness to another person? And as a matter of principle, should it be possible?
In recent years this topic has generated a heated discussion in the UK. Ten years ago, the Criminal Division of the (English) Court of Appeal held that a person may commit the statutory offence of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm if, knowing he is HIV positive, he has unprotected sexual intercourse with someone who is unaware of his condition, and thereby infects them.
Whilst welcomed by some, this ruling has been sharply criticised by others. They say that it is unfair to penalise the sick, and they argue that, at least in certain situations, the responsibility for preventing the spread of infection should rest upon the shoulders of the well – who should take steps to avoid catching the disease – rather than on the sick, to avoid spreading it.
In his lecture Professor Spencer will examine this debate and give his views on the merits of the respective arguments.”
Biography of speaker:
“Dr John Spencer was a professor in the Cambridge University Law Faculty from 1995 until 2013, when on retirement he became a Professor Emeritus. He is an honorary QC, and also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Poitiers. Through long service he is a life Fellow of Selwyn College Cambridge, and from 1 October he will become a Bye Fellow of Murray Edwards College. During the academic year 2014-15 he will be one of the University’s team of Deputy Vice-Chancellors.
His range of interests include criminal law and the law of tort, and through these, medical law. In the context of the WYNG Foundation and the Hatton Trust’s recent benefaction to the Cambridge Law Faculty he will be the Hatton-WYNG Medical Law, Ethics and Policy Programme Distinguished Adviser, and Chair of the Faculty Medical Law, Ethics and Policy Committee.”