What would you do if you were the judge of the R. v. Dudley and Stephens’s case in 1884? Let’s start to think about it. We were normal lawyers in 1884 till the one morning that extraordinary case came to us. This case was about three alive people and one dead young boy.
The merchant ship became shipwrecked by a storm. Four people including the dead young boy survived from an awful accident luckily. They could run away from the storm with an emergency boat. The boat has been thrown away by the flow. They stranded for 18 days. It was an extremely horrible situation. After a while, their food storage finished. They could not find any clean water too. Their mind was perplexed and they were in the perilous boat which is surrounded by the ocean.
Finally, men decided to kill the young boy and eat him. It could be exasperating but we should put ourselves in their shoes. They were hungry as wolves for so many days and there was nobody to blame or charge them. There was no problem with killing an innocent boy if no one heard about it. However, after they arrived in England, they admitted their commitment to the offense.
They were charged with the young boy’s murder. On the downside of being sailor that cannibalism was allowed under such circumstances. However they were found guilty on the basis that all life is equal – the law expected them to die, rather than kill another but later their punishments were changed from death to six months imprisonment.
After that case, Lord Coleridge CJ reported that it is admitted that the killing of this unresisting boy was clearly murder unless the killing can be justified by some well-recognized excuse admitted by the law. It is further admitted that there was, in this case, no such excuse, unless the killing was justified by what has been called ‘necessity’. To sum up he stated that it was homicide certainly. Besides some important lawyers thought that it was self-defense against unusual circumstances.
I think it could be one of the most relatable instances for my topic. Can we or Shall we provide the same justice for everyone? As one of the answers; No, results can be changed according to case, or Yes, Iustitia Omnibus (means JUSTICE FOR EVERYONE).