Campaign to change the law

Suicide was decriminalised in 1961 – yet the Criminal Standard of Proof, 'beyond reasonable doubt', is still required in reaching a conclusion of suicide. PAPYRUS believes that this perpetuates the stigma around suicide and obscures the true scale of suicide in England and Wales.

Papyrus is leading a campaign to change the law so that the Civil Standard of Proof, the 'balance of probability', is required instead, pressing for change to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

An Early Day Motion on Suicide and the Criminal Standard of Proof has been tabled in Parliament by one of their Patrons, Norman Lamb MP, to support a change to the law. Papyrus urgently need as many MPs as possible to sign the motion – please write to your MP today to urge them to sign.

Suicide is a national crisis. The law must stop hiding its true extent. Stephen Habgood, PAPYRUS Chairman, explains why the law needs to be changed.

How can you help?

  • Email your MP and ask them to support a change to the law: 
    • Papyrus has prepared a sample letter for you. For those of you who have been touched personally by young suicide, please do include something of your own story.
    • Please ensure that you include your full name, address and postcode. Otherwise, your letter may not be read by your MP.
    • You can find your MP here 

  • Spread the word – tell your friends, family and colleagues about our campaign and encourage them to write to their MP

  • Support the campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #stopsuicidestigma and download our campaign images to share online

  • Use Papyrus' web forum to share your story or contribute to the discussion.