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Suicide: Internet

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will bring forward legislative proposals to give young people greater protection from suicide-related web sites. (188281)

I understand concerns about these websites and the influence they may have over vulnerable people, particularly young people. As part of its review of the law relating to assisting and encouraging crime, the Law Commission examined the issue of suicide websites and made some recommendations which the Government are considering. Those recommendations, if implemented, would update but not substantively change the law. The Law Commission were absolutely clear in their conclusion that existing law is capable of dealing with the contemporary problem posed by suicide websites.

We have looked again at this area of law in the light of recent tragic events in Bridgend but we believe that the offences of assisting and attempting to assist suicide should together be sufficient to respond to any behaviour that ought to be unlawful.