Regina (Quintavalle) v Secretary of State for Health: CA 18 Jan 2002

A cloned cell, a cell produced by cell nuclear replacement came within the definition of embryo under the Act. The Act required that fertilisation was complete.
Held: The act could be applied in a purposive way. The legislative policy was that it was essential to bring the creation and use of embryos under strict regulatory control for ethical reasons. The Act could be read to cover such activities without unnecessary strain on the wording. The Court was willing to adopt what it recognised to be a ‘strained’ construction of a statute where (i) the construction was ‘viable’ as opposed to straining the language to breaking point and (ii) it was ‘plainly necessary’ to do so in order to ‘give effect to Parliamentary intention’ and prevent the ‘clear purpose of the legislation’ being defeated.


Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Thorpe and Lord Justice Buxton


Times 25-Jan-2002, Gazette 06-Mar-2002, [2002] QB 628, [2002] EWCA Civ 29, [2002] 2 WLR 550


Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990


England and Wales


AppliedAttorney-General v Edison Telephone Company of London 1880
The 1869 Act gave the Postmaster-General a monopoly of transmitting telegrams. Telegrams were defined as messages transmitted by telegraph. A telegraph was defined to include ‘any apparatus for transmitting messages or other communications by means . .
AppliedFitzpatrick v Sterling Housing Association Ltd HL 28-Oct-1999
Same Sex Paartner to Inherit as Family Member
The claimant had lived with the original tenant in a stable and long standing homosexual relationship at the deceased’s flat. After the tenant’s death he sought a statutory tenancy as a spouse of the deceased. The Act had been extended to include as . .
Appeal fromRegina (on the Application of Bruno Quintavalle on Behalf of Pro-Life Alliance) v Secretary of State for Health Admn 15-Nov-2001
Where procedures produced a clone of a human cell or embryo, that was not an embryo within and subject to regulation under the Act, since there had been no process of fertilisation, which is a pre-requisite under the Act. A cloned cell could not be . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromRegina v Secretary of State for Health ex parte Quintavalle (on behalf of Pro-Life Alliance) HL 13-Mar-2003
Court to seek and Apply Parliamentary Intention
The appellant challenged the practice of permitting cell nuclear replacement (CNR), saying it was either outside the scope of the Act, or was for a purpose which could not be licensed under the Act.
Held: The challenge failed. The court was to . .
CitedRegina (Smeaton) v Secretary of State for Health and Others Admn 18-Apr-2002
The claimant challenged the Order as regards the prescription of the morning-after pill, asserting that the pill would cause miscarriages, and that therefore the use would be an offence under the 1861 Act.
Held: ‘SPUC’s case is that any . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health, Human Rights

Updated: 08 May 2022; Ref: scu.167440