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Suicide was decriminalised in 1961 – yet the Criminal Standard of Proof, 'beyond reasonable doubt', is still required in reaching a conclusion of suicide. PAPYRUS believes that this perpetuates the stigma around suicide and obscures the true scale of suicide in England and Wales.
We are leading a campaign to change the law so that the Civil Standard of Proof, the 'balance of probability', is required instead, pressing for change to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
An Early Day Motion on Suicide and the Criminal Standard of Proof has been tabled in Parliament by one of our Patrons, Norman Lamb MP, to support a change to the law.
Suicide is a national crisis. The law must stop hiding its true extent. Stephen Habgood, PAPYRUS Chairman, explains why the law needs to be changed.
July 2017 update: We are waiting to hear HM Government's response to the recommendations of the House of Commons Health Committee, one of which was to adopt the Civil Standard of Proof in reaching a conclusion of suicide.