REPROHEALTHLAW Updates — July/August 2017

August 31, 2017

SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW: To receive these updates monthly by email, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

DEVELOPMENTS
[Chile] Abortion legalized in three cases: when the woman’s life is at risk, when the fetus will not survive the pregnancy, and in case of rape).  New law ruled constitutional by the Constitutional Court of Chile on August 28, 20176:  STC Rol N° 3729(3751). Requerimientos de inconstitucionalidad presentados por un grupo de Senadores y Diputados, respecto de normas del proyecto de ley que regula la despenalización de la interrupción voluntaria del embarazo en tres causales, correspondiente al boletín N° 9895-11.  Tribunal Constitucional Chile.  Decision in Spanish -295 pagesAccompanying documentsOther Submissions  Newspaper report in English.    Overview by Carlos Herrera, LL.M.
Many Chilean law professors addressed the Court, including:
   Prof. Veronica Undurraga  presentation online.
Prof. Lidia Casas Becerra  
presentation begins at minute 42:00

[United Nations – CEDAW] General Recommendation 35,  Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, (CEDAW) concerns gender-based violence against women, updating General Recommendation 19 (1992). e.g.: “Violations of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, such as forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced pregnancy, criminalisation of abortion, denial or delay of safe abortion and post-abortion care, forced continuation of pregnancy, abuse and mistreatment of women and girls seeking sexual and reproductive health information, goods and services, are forms of gender-based violence that, depending on the circumstances, may amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” (Art. 18)  Calls for repeal of ” legal provisions that discriminate against women,”(Art. 31) including “legislation that criminalises abortion” (31a).  Advance Unedited version of Gen. Rec. 35, 24 July 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS:
Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network, for the Law and Society Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, June 7-10, 2018, on the theme: “Law at the Crossroads”  500-word abstracts due Sept 17, 2017 Submission link.   Detailed call for papers  Pre-formed panels or ideas are welcome at:  2018lsacrn at gmail.com.

RESOURCES
Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), now also in Spanish (see next entry) and in paperback, 20% discount code PH70.  English edition from U Penn PressTable of Contents with chapter summaries.  Table of Cases.

El aborto en el derecho transnacional: casos y controversias,  ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman y Bernard M. Dickens (Mexico: FCE/CIDE, 2016)   En espanol, 2016: Fondo de Cultura Económica Libreria CIDE.     Índice con resúmenes de capítulos 1-5
Tabla de Casos/Jurisprudencia en línea con enlaces a muchas de las decisiones judiciales

[abortion law] Amicus curiae brief on international legal consensus  on abortion law reform, non-arbitrariness and proportionality, and grounds and procedural protections. 20 pp, submitted to the Tribunal Constitucional of Chile by Professors Joanna Erdman and Rebecca Cook, August 10, 2017.   Spanish and English PDF

[abortion law, Ireland] “The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013: Suicide, Dignity and the Irish Discourse on Abortion”, by Claire Murray, Social and Legal Studies 25.6 (Dec 2016): 667-698   PDF onlineAccepted version.

[abortion, Uganda] “Access to safe abortion in Uganda: Leveraging Opportunities through the Harm Reduction Model” by Moses Mulumba, Charles Kiggundu, Jacqueline Nassimbwa and Noor Musisi Nakibuuka, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 138 (Aug. 2017): 231–236. doi:10.1002/ijgo.12190   PDF temporarily online for 12 months Submitted text online at SSRN.

[Africa] “The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and the Woman Question”, by Ebenezer Durojaye and O. Oluduro, Feminist Legal Studies (2016) 24: 315-336  Abstract and article.

[conscientious objection] Amicus curiae brief  on conscientious objection by Professor Bernard Dickens submitted to the Tribunal Constitucional of Chile, August 10, 2017  English PDF     Spanish  PDF

NEWS
[abortion drug, Canada]: “Mifegymiso” (a combination of two abortion pills: mifepristone and misoprostol RU-486), approved by Health Canada in 2015, is now available free of charge in Ontario through pharmacies by prescription from physicians and nurse practitioners  News article.

International news and resources for advocacy:  International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion.

US-focused news, resources, and legal developments are available on Repro Rights Prof Blog.  View or subscribe.

JOBS
Links to employers in the field of Reproductive and Sexual Health Law are online here

______________
Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


Uganda: Harm reduction model for access to safe abortion

August 31, 2017

Congratulations and thanks to Moses Mulumba and his colleagues at the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) in Kampala for collaborating with Dr. Charles Kiggundu, a gynecologist and obstetrician, on a newly published article in the Legal and Ethical Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Access to safe abortion in Uganda: Leveraging Opportunities through the Harm Reduction Model” by Moses Mulumba, Charles Kiggundu, Jacqueline Nassimbwa and Noor Musisi Nakibuuka, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 138 (August 2017): 231–236.  PDF free online for 12 months Submitted text  online at SSRN.

Access to safe and legal abortion services is a far reach for women and girls in Uganda. Although unsafe abortion rates have fallen from 54 to 39 per 1000 women aged 15-45 years over a decade, absolute figures show a rise from 294 000 in 2003 to 314,000 women having unsafe abortions in 2013.  Unfortunately, only 50% of the women who develop abortion complications are able to reach facilities for post-abortion care.  Despite the clinical evidence and the stories from undocumented cases, debate on access to safer and legal abortion is constricted, moralized, and stigmatized.  The harm reduction model has shown evidence of benefit in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity due to unsafe abortion while addressing related stigma and discrimination and advancing women’s reproductive health rights.  This article presents a case for promoting the model in Uganda.

Key words:  Abortion laws; Abortion policies and guidelines; Constitutional rights; Ethics; Harm reduction model; Human rights; Ugandan abortion law; Unsafe abortion


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – Feb. 2017

February 14, 2017


SUBSCRIBE TO REPROHEALTHLAW:
To receive these updates monthly by email, enter your address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

DEVELOPMENTS:

AB and Surrogacy Advisory Group v. the Minister of Social Development (Centre for Child Law as Amicus Curiae)  CCT 155/15, decided November 29, 2016 (Constitutional Court of South Africa).  Genetic link to one parent is required, and constitutional.   Surrogacy decision.   Summary by Ronaldah Lerato Karabo Ozah.

CALLS:

Meeting: INROADS (International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma), African regional members’ gathering in Lusaka, Zambia, 29-30 May 2017.  Free membership. Free registration.   Financial support for travel expenses: apply by Wed March 8, 2017.

CFP: Sexual and reproductive health and rights in humanitarian crises, especially essays re heightened risk and vulnerability, interventions and responses, and legal and policy issues, for Reproductive Health Matters 26:51.   Submit by May 31, 2017. Call for papers.

Call for volunteer experts in sexual and reproductive health rights to review and validate country-specific data for the “National Sexual Rights Law and Policy Database.” Contact person and Countries where expertise needed.   About the database.    About the Sexual Rights Initiative.

RESOURCES
[abortion law] “Regulating Abortion: Dissensus and the Politics of Rights”  Social and Legal Studies: an international journal, 25.6 (2016): 6-166. Online for institutional subscribers.
— Introduction, by editor Siobhan Mullally
— The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013: Suicide, Dignity and the Irish Discourse on Abortion, by Clare Murray
— Gender in Constitutional Discourses on Abortion: Looking at Spain from a Comparative Perspective, by Blanca Rodríguez-Ruiz
— Advocating Abortion Rights in Northern Ireland: Local and Global Tensions, by Catherine O’Rourke
— Killing ‘Unborn Children’? The Catholic Church and Abortion Law in Poland Since 1989, by Dorota Szelewa
— Abortion Rights as Human Rights, by Rachel Rebouché
–Talking about Abortion [in the U.S.], by Carol Sanger
 Online for institutional subscribers.

[abortion – Ireland]  “Fatal Fetal Abnormality, Irish Constitutional Law and Mellet v. Ireland,” by Fiona de Londras, Medical Law Review (2016) 24 (4): 591-607.  Article – 17 pages.

[abortion – Ireland]  “Invisible Women:  Ireland and the Fight to Access Safe and Legal Abortion,” by Chiara Cosentino, Medicina nei Secoli Arte e Scienza (Journal of History of Medicine) 28/2 (2016) 413-434.  Online for institutional subscribers.

[African court decisions]  Legal Grounds:  Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts, Volume III:  54 African court cases summarized and analyzed by Godfrey Kangaude, Onyema Afulukwe, Guy-Fleury Ntwari, et. al (Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), 2017) 228 pages from PULP.   Overview including previous volumes.

[conscientious objection] “Conscientious objection to abortion provision: Why context matters” by Laura Florence Harris, Jodi Halpern, Ndola Prata, Wendy Chavkin, Caitlin Gerdts,  Global Public Health 12 September 2016; Online for institutional subscribers

[conscientious objection] “Freedom of Conscience, Medical Practitioners and Abortion in South Africa,” by  Shaun Alberto de Freitas, International Journal for Religious Freedom, 4.1 (2011) Abstract and Article

“Conscience and Agent-Integrity: A Defence of Conscience-Based Exemptions in the Healthcare Context” by Mary Neal and Sara Fovargue,  Medical Law Review  (2016) 24 (4): 544-570. Online for institutional subscribers.

Conscientious Objection and Conscientious Commitment – publications by Bernard M. Dickens et al., and recommended reading.  Conscientious Objection publications

[embryos] The Use and Disposal of Stored Embryos, by Bernard M. Dickens.  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 134 (2016) 114–117. Abstract and Article.

[Inter-American Human Rights] “Women’s Reproductive Rights and Reparations: Lessons from the Inter-American System of Human Rights,” by Ciara O’Connell, in Inter-American Human Rights Network, Moving Beyond the Good, the Bad and the Ugly: What to Learn From International Human Rights Systems?” Ghent, Belgium (29-30 January 2016). Conference paper.

[Uruguay model] “Reducing Maternal Mortality by Preventing Unsafe Abortion: The Uruguayan Experience.” ed. Anibal Faúndes,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 134, Sup 1 (Aug 2016). Articles include surveys before and after legalization, reduction in maternal deaths, role of medical abortion, barriers of conscientious objection and replication of the model in Buenos Aires province, Argentina.  IJGO Supplement

US-focused news, resources, and legal developments are available on Repro Rights Prof Blog.  View or subscribe.

NEWS

Abortion News Without the Stigma: breaking news on abortion rights.  New website tool

[Canada] “Mifegymiso” – abortion pill now available to Canadian women  Newspaper article

[Sicily, Italy] Valentina Milluzzo, aged 32, 5 months pregnant with twins when she miscarried, fell ill and died from sepsis.  Her death has reignited debate about the high number of gynaecologists and obstetricians who refuse to provide abortions.   Guardian newspaper.  Article by Elizabeth Canitano, gynecologist from “Vita di Donna” (Lives of Women)

JOBS

Links to other employers in the field of Reproductive and Sexual Health Law are online here

______________
Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at utoronto.ca For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.


South Africa: Genetic-link requirement for surrogacy is constitutional

February 14, 2017

Congratulations to Ronaldah Lerato Karabo Ozah and the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria, a law clinic which was accepted and thanked as amicus curiae in this recent decision:

AB and Surrogacy Advisory Group v. the Minister of Social Development (Centre for Child Law as Amicus Curiae)  CCT 155/15, decided November 29, 2016 (Constitutional Court of South Africa)  Decision online.

On 29 November 2016, the South African Constitutional Court found that the “genetic-link requirement” for surrogate motherhood agreements is constitutionally valid and does not unjustifiably limit the rights of persons who cannot contribute their own gametes for surrogate motherhood agreements. The decision follows the challenge by the Applicants to section 294 of the Children’s Act (38 of 2005) which requires that the gametes of at least one of the commissioning parents must be used for the conception of a child to be born from a surrogate motherhood agreement.

The first applicant was “AB,” a woman in her late fifties who had exhausted medical possibilities to conceive and carry a child to term, whether naturally with her former husband or through in vitro fertilization with personal or anonymous donor ova or sperm. Turning to surrogacy, but unable to supply parental sperm or ova, she and the Surrogacy Advisory Group challenged South Africa’s legal requirement of one parental gamete.  The Children’s Act (ch. 19, sec. 294) provides as follows:

Genetic origin of child. No surrogate motherhood agreement is valid unless the conception of the child contemplated in the agreement is to be effected by the use of the gametes of both commissioning parents or, if that is not possible due to biological, medical or other valid reasons, the gamete of at least one of the commissioning parents or, where the commissioning parent is a single person, the gamete of that person.”

Previously, in August 2015, the High Court at Gauteng had held that this section “is inconsistent with the Constitution for violating rights including equality, privacy, dignity, the right to bodily and psychological integrity, and the right to health care of persons who are unable to contribute a gamete or gametes in the surrogacy arrangement.”  The matter was then referred to the Constitutional Court for confirmation of constitutional invalidity.

The decision of the Constitutional Court was split 7/4, with the majority of the court finding that the provision does not unjustifiably limit the rights of the applicants to equality, reproductive autonomy, reproductive health and privacy (paras 275-324). The Constitutional Court found that section 294 of the Children’s Act was rationally connected to its purpose, which is to safeguard the genetic origin of the child for the best interests of the child. (para. 288)   Furthermore, the Court was of the view that the High Court judgment had over-emphasised the interests of the commissioning parent(s) and overlooked the purpose of the impugned provision and the best interests of children. (para.293)   Although the Constitutional Court did not go so far as to proclaim a right to know one’s genetic origin, it acknowledged that children born of surrogate motherhood agreements do have an interest that needs to be protected by laws that will ensure that they can know at least one of their genetic parents.

References online:

AB and Surrogacy Advisory Group vs. Minister of Social Development, Nov. 29, 2016 (Constitutional Court of South Africa) Full text:  2016 Constitutional Court decision. 

Previous decision, 2015: AB and Surrogacy Advisory Group vs. Minister of Social Development [2015] ZAGPPHC 580 (High Court of South Africa).  2015 High Court decision  Summary by Godfrey Kangaude for: Legal Grounds: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts.  228 pages, free from PULP.

The Children’s Act 38 of 2005, South Africa, with later amendments,  is online here.

Amicus curiae submission by the Centre for Child Law, University of Pretoria  is online here.


AFRICA: Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts – 54 case summaries

February 14, 2017

2017_legal_grounds

by: Godfrey Kangaude, Onyema Afulukwe, Guy-Fleury Ntwari, et al.
Foreword by Prof. Charles G. Ngwena
PULP (Pretoria University Law Press) 2017
Download entire 228 page book online.
Online edition with links to decisions
Printable flyer with Table of Contents
Previous volumes
.

Reproductive and sexual rights, which are guaranteed in constitutions and in international and regional human rights treaties, have no impact if they are not recognized and enforced by national-level courts. Legal Grounds: Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts Volume III continues to provide much-needed information about whether and how national courts of African countries apply constitutional and human rights to protect reproductive and sexual rights. The case summaries, significance sections, and thematic highlights serve as useful resources for those seeking to further develop litigation, advocacy, and capacity- building strategies.

Like its predecessors, Legal Grounds: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts – Volume III is a tool for organizations, individuals, and institutions of learning. The scope of this third volume has been widened beyond Commonwealth African countries to include cases from Francophone countries, while focusing more exclusively on court decisions related to reproductive and sexual health. This compelling publication contributes towards a knowledge base of court decisions that bear directly or indirectly on the exercise of reproductive and sexual health as constitutional and human rights in Africa.
228 page book onlinePrevious volumes Printable flyer with Table of Contents.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Foreword, Introduction, Acknowledgments
Children and Adolescents
—Child, Forced and Early Marriage
—Female Genital Mutilation legal-grounds/
—Sexual Abuse, Assault and Violence
—Consensual Sexual Conduct
—Student Pregnancy
—Maternal Health Care and Services
Abortion and Fetal Interests
—Abortion
—Wrongful Birth or Life
Adoption and Surrogacy
—Adoption
—Surrogacy
Gender, Sexuality, Women and Discrimination
—Rape
—Disability, Sexuality and Criminal Law
—Women and Criminal Law
—Legal Recognition of Intersexuality
—Gender Identity
—Sexual Orientation
—Recognition of LGBTIQ Advocacy and Groups
HIV
—Access to Treatment
—Criminalisation of Transmission
—Forced Sterilization
—Discrimination in Employment
Francophone Africa / L’Afrique Francophone
—Adultery, Polygamy, Infanticide
Appendices – Table of Cases, Online Resources, Endnotes

HIGHLIGHTS BY AFRICAN AUTHORS:
Child Marriage: Legal and Socio-Cultural Aspects, by Godfrey Kangaude
Adolescent Consensual Sexual Conduct, by Godfrey Kangaude
Sexual Abuse, Assault and Violence, by Victoria Balogun
Maternal Health Care and Services, by Tinyade Kachika
Abortion and Fetal Interests, by Onyema Afulukwe
Adoption and Surrogacy, by Ronaldah Lerato Karabo Ozah
Gender, Sexuality, Women and Discrimination, by MaryFrances Lukera
Criminalisation of HIV Non-Disclosure, Exposure and Transmission, by Jacinta Nyachae
Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women Living with HIV, by Ebenezer Durojaye
Towards Respect for Human Diversity, by Godfrey Kangaude

COUNTRIES:  Benin, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda,  Zambia, Zimbabwe

228 page book online.  Previous volumes.
Printable flyer with Table of Contents.


El aborto en el derecho transnacional: casos y controversias

October 27, 2016

      
libro-aborto-portada

por Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman

y Bernard M. Dickens, (editores)
(México, FCE/CIDE 2016).

El debate jurídico y judicial sobre el aborto ha tenido, a lo largo del siglo XX y principios del XXI, importantes revoluciones en su abordaje teórico y práctico, que son expresión de estrategias de sectores sociales, religiosos y políticos que en ocasiones resultan contrapuestas.

Éste es un completo balance dinámico sobre las nuevas transiciones actuales y posibles y los desarrollos jurídicos más significativos a nivel transnacional en el tema del aborto, y da cuenta del nuevo desarrollo conceptual que concibe la idea de que no sólo la sanción penal, sino también la amenaza de la sanción penal, ponen en riesgo derechos fundamentales de las mujeres.

“…. Libro de gran actualidad y de avanzada … los autores tratan el tema del aborto con maestría desde las más variadas vertientes como pobreza, marginación, exclusión social, salud pública, penalización y derechos humanos….es y seguirá siendo lectura obligada para operadores jurídicos, sociólogos, economistas, políticos pero sobre todo para cualquier persona interesada en el tema.”

Olga Sánchez Cordero,  Ministra en retiro de la
Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (México)

Introducción y Prólogo a la edición en español,  y  Índice General en línea

Tabla de Casos/Jurisprudencia en línea con enlaces a muchas de las decisiones judiciales

De venta en línea y en librerías del Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Oportunidad: Si desea escribir una reseña para alguna revista académica latinoamericana,  por favor escriba a  reprohealth . law @ utoronto . ca para solicitar una copia del libro.

SUMARIO:

Prólogo a la edición en espanol, por Víctor Abramovitch

Introducción, por Rebecca J. Cook,  Joanna N. Erdman, y Bernard M. Dickens

VALORES CONSTITUCIONALES Y REGÍMENES NORMATIVOS

La constitucionalización del aborto, por Reva B. Siegel     Resúmen aqui

El aborto en Portugal. Nuevas tendencias en el constitucionalismo europeo, por Ruth Rubio Marín     Resúmen aqui      PDF en português.

Los derechos de las mujeres en las sentencias sobre aborto del Tribunal  Constitucional de Eslovaquia, por Adriana Lamačková   Resúmen aqui

El principio de proporcionalidad en el control de constitucionalidad de las normas sobre aborto, por Verónica Undurraga   Resúmen aqui   y PDF em português

Un enfoque funcionalista al derecho comparado del aborto, por Rachel Rebouché  Resúmen aqui

JUSTICIA PROCESAL Y ACCESO LIBERALIZADO

El giro procesal: el aborto en el Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos, por Joanna N. Erdman

La lucha contra las normas informales que regulaban el aborto en la Argentina, por Paola Bergallo

El papel de la transparencia en la reforma de leyes y prácticas del aborto en África, por Charles G. Ngwena

INTERPRETACIÓN Y REIVINDICACIÓN DE LOS DERECHOS

El marco de referencia médico y el aborto medicamentoso temprano en el Reino Unido.  ¿Cómo puede un Estado ejercer control sobre la ingesta de una píldora? por Sally Sheldon

El derecho a la conciencia, por Bernard M. Dickens

El sexo, las mujeres, y el inicio de la vida humana en el constitucionalismo católico, por Julieta Lemaitre Ripoll

El aborto en el debate público brasileño. Estrategias jurídicas del embarazo anencefálico, por Luís Roberto Barroso

Nepal, hacia una igualdad transformativa. El fallo Lakshmi Dhikta, por Melissa Upreti

 NARRATIVAS Y SIGNIFICADO SOCIAL

El tratamiento de las narrativas del sufrimiento inocente en el litigio transnacional del aborto, por Lisa M. Kelly

Narrativas sobre la personalidad jurídica del no nacido en la regulación del aborto, por Alejandro Madrazo

Significados estigmatizados del derecho penal sobre el aborto, por Rebecca J. Cook

Tabla de Casos/Jurisprudencia (en línea)

Tabla de legislación, tratados y otros instrumentos internacionales relevantes

 


Kenyan High Court: Anti-Counterfeit Act threatened access to generic medicines

June 14, 2016

Many thanks to Godfrey Kangaude, LL.M. (UFS), LL.M. (UCLA), an LL.D. candidate with the University of Pretoria and Executive Director of Nyale Institute for Sexual and Reproductive Health Governance in Malawi, for composing or editing dozens of analytical summaries of African court decisions for our forthcoming volume, Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts.   Earlier volumes in the series, published in 2005 and 2010 by the Center for Reproductive Rights, are freely available in print or electronic form.  Legal Grounds online.

Several recent African court decisions resolve legal issues that affect public health in many nations.  For instance, in Patricia Asero Ochieng and Two Others v. The Attorney General & Another [2012] (Petition No. 409 of 2009),  a High Court of Kenya (at Nairobi) asked the government to remove a fundamental ambiguity in new legislation, the Anti-Counterfeit Act, which jeopardized citizens’ constitutional right to health.

Godfrey Kangaude’s summary of the decision shows how the Act’s ambiguous definition of “counterfeit” threatened to restrict access to low-cost generic medicines for HIV AIDS .  As he concludes, “The Court found that the Act’s conflation of counterfeit and generic drugs creates a possibility for misinterpretation by officials, who might seize legitimate generic drugs, which would have a disastrous impact on persons who rely upon them, such as the petitioners. It emphasised that such ambiguity is not permissible, especially where any misinterpretation would impact on the constitutionally guaranteed rights of individuals.

“It further said that the protection of the rights of persons to health and access of medicines is more critical than the protection of intellectual property rights, so that the protection of the rights of the petitioners should take precedence. The Court buttressed its reasoning with General Comment No. 17 where the ESCR Committee [United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights] said that states parties should prevent the use of scientific progress for purposes contrary to human rights, for instance by excluding patentability where commercialisation of innovations would jeopardise enjoyment of human rights.” [2]

NOTES:
[1] Patricia Asero Ochieng and 2 Others v The Attorney General & Another [2012], Petition No. 409 of 2009 (High Court of Kenya at Nairobi) Decision online.
[2] Godfrey Kangaude, Case summary,  Patricia Asero Ochieng and 2 Others v The Attorney General & Another [2012], Case summary Godfrey Kangaude.

————-
Legal Grounds: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in African Commonwealth Courts
   (up to 2008) Volumes I and II can be downloaded here.  Our update will be published early in 2017.  Decisions already identified for Volume III  are online here.  New case summaries are added every month.   If you can suggest other cases, please do!   How You Can Help.