This week's question of the week is taken from the sad story of a seven-year-old girl born with severe brain damage after her mother drank up to eight cans of strong lager and half a bottle of vodka per day while pregnant.
Three judges ruled that she was not entitled to criminal damages under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme as the damage she undoubtedly suffered was inflicted while she was a foetus, not while she was a person: UK law only recognises crimes against persons.
The key questions I've been discussing with my students are:
- Can you commit a crime against somebody before they are born?
- At what point does a foetus become a person?
You can download a poster for this week's question here, and a pdf of a Daily Mirror story (yes, I know) about the case here.