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Ian Dunn
803909.  Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:16 pm Reply with quote

In Pakistan, cannibalism is so rare that there is no specific punishment for it under law.

There is currently a case in Pakistan about two brother who ate the corpse of a freshly laid-to-rest body. Because cannibalism is not covered by law, the brothers are being charged with digging up and desecrating a grave. This crime carries a punishment of six months only.

Source: The Guardian.

803978.  Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:08 pm Reply with quote

As opposed to cannibalism being so common in most other countries??? :)

803982.  Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:23 pm Reply with quote

I'm willing to be corrected here, but I don't think cannibalism is illegal under the law of England and Wales.

Killing a person in order to eat her is called "murder", and that's not allowed. But I don't think the law actually prohibits the eating of a person who is already dead.

Spud McLaren
804006.  Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:17 pm Reply with quote

This article says:

"Cannibalism itself is not an offence so long as the death occurs naturally."

So does that mean that one is committing an offence if one eats part of a person killed - unlawfully or otherwise - by a third party?

804012.  Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:35 pm Reply with quote

I think that would depend how you came by the cadaver. Digging up a buried body is usually going to be illegal - but if you happen to be the next of kin or have the consent of that person, it might not be.

Somewhat curiously, stealing a dead body from the morgue or chapel of rest before it has been buried or cremated is considered as no more than common theft. One might perhaps think it would be treated more seriously than pinching a tin of beans from Tesco.

Eating the body of a person who had been murdered by a third party, with a view to helping the murderer dispose of the body, would also be illegal.

But if you were somehow lawfully in possession of a human corpse, you would commit no crime if you were to eat it.

Spud McLaren
804022.  Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:54 pm Reply with quote

Hmm. It was the "so long as the death occurs naturally" part that set me thinking.

804041.  Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:25 am Reply with quote

Also, I don't think cannibalism is illegal if someone willingly cuts off some of their flesh and serves it to you for dinner. An unlikely scenario, I agree, but not against the law.

804128.  Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:27 am Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
An unlikely scenario

That's what you think.


804206.  Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:28 am Reply with quote

WARNING - this post is a bit gross. Do not read while eating; do not read if of a sensitive disposition.

I'm actually not sure about that. The ECHR ruled (Laskey v United Kingdom 1997, commonly known as "the Spanner case") that it is illegal to "consent to receive an act which will cause serious bodily harm".

Quite what that means is unclear. The Spanner case concerned a group of gay men who thought it would be fun to whip and scarify each others' scrota, and the ECHR upheld their convictions for assault in an English court. Even though none of the men required medical attention.

Although conversely, there is R v Slingsby 1995. A man performed consensual anal fisting on a woman while wearing a signet ring. The signet ring caused internal injury and the woman died of septicaemia. Not guilty of manslaughter.

Some have interpreted the Spanner ruling as making it illegal for a person to have his/her genitalia tattooed or pierced. In which case, it has to be illegal to consent to chop part of yourself off.

But surgical amputation of a limb or surgical removal of an organ are sometimes medically necessary. And in such a case, I can't see any legal objection to eating the removed body part.

Ian Dunn
804219.  Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:02 pm Reply with quote

I know that the Spanner case is considered to be controversal because the result of the case made many S&M acts illegal which sadomasochists view as a form of discrimination.

As a result, the main campaign group in the UK that camapigns for the rights of fetishists is called The Spanner Trust.

804314.  Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:13 pm Reply with quote

That decision must have been a bit of a wrench.

804345.  Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:25 am Reply with quote

For some reason, I thought this was going to be a thread about Pakistan (a country I've spent some time in), but cannibalism is equally interesting.....

Ian Dunn
804432.  Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:55 am Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
For some reason, I thought this was going to be a thread about Pakistan (a country I've spent some time in), but cannibalism is equally interesting.....

Same here. You mention cannibalism once, and suddenly everyone is hooked.

804435.  Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:01 am Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
For some reason, I thought this was going to be a thread about Pakistan (a country I've spent some time in), but cannibalism is equally interesting.....

It is, but feel free to tell us about Pakistan as well ! Staying on topic has never been a rule of these forums, and that ain't about to change!

931121.  Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:11 am Reply with quote

The surprised thing is these guys get jailed in just for 6 months,


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