Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 150 (Mar)
Neutral Citation: [2002] UKPC 12
Court: Privy Council

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of WoodBorough, Lord Miillett and Lord Rodger of Earlsferry

Judgment Dates: 11 March 2002


Criminal law - Murder - Capital murder - Statute providing for mandatory death penalty on conviction of murder - Whether mandatory death sentence torture or inhuman or degrading punishment - Whether unconstitutional - Criminal Code of Saint Lucia, s 178 - Constitution of Saint Lucia, ss 5, 120 - Saint Lucia Constitution Order 1978, Sch 2, para 10.

The Case

To the extent that s178 of the Criminal Code of Saint Lucia was to be regarded as authorising the infliction of the death penalty in all cases of murder, it could not be held to be inconsistent with s5 of the Constitution, which prohibited torture or inhuman or degrading punishment. However, to the extent that it went further and actually required the infliction of the death penalty in all case of murder, it was inconsistent and void under the Constitution.

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