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Canada was the first Commonwealth country to legalise assisted dying and passed a law in June 2016.

The change came after an historic legal case called Carter v Canada. In February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the ban on assisted dying. They said it violated the provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that a regulated regime would protect vulnerable people. It gave the Canadian Parliament one year to change the law.

The experience in Canada shows how powerful the courts can be in challenging the law.