Regina v Sharpe: CCCR 1857

The defendant was charged not with theft of a corpse, but of its removal from a grave: ‘Our law recognises no property in a corpse, and the protection of the grave at common law as contradistinguished from ecclesiastic protection to consecrated ground depends on this form of indictment.’

Erle J
[1857] Dears and B 160
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Kelly 1999
Robbers who stole and sold preserved specimens from the Royal College of Surgeons’ collection were held rightly convicted of theft. The court considered the issue of ownership of a corpse: ‘We accept that however questionable the historical origins . .
CitedAB and others v Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust QBD 26-Mar-2004
Representative claims were made against the respondents, hospitals, pathologists etc with regard to the removal of organs from deceased children without the informed consent of the parents. They claimed under the tort of wrongful interference.

Updated: 05 January 2022; Ref: scu.195006