Tanzanian Court: Third party consent to marriage of girls under 18 is unconstitutional

January 13, 2017

Many thanks to Godfrey Kangaude, LL.M. (UFS), LL.M. (UCLA), an LL.D. candidate at the University of Pretoria and Executive Director of Nyale Institute for Sexual and Reproductive Health Governance in Malawi, for summarizing this decision for REPROHEALTHLAW subscribers.  He is also Chief Editor of Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts, forthcoming 2017.

Rebeca Z. Gyumi v. Attorney General, Miscellaneous Civil Cause No 5 of 2016 decided on July 8, 2016.   (High Court of Tanzania, unreported)  Decision online.

Abstract: The Court considered whether by permitting girls under the age of 18 to marry by third party consent, Sections 13 and 17 of the Marriage Act CAP R.E. 2002 (Marriage Act) violate the right to equality, the right to expression and receipt of information as provided for under Articles 12, 13, 18 and 21 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania 1977 (Constitution). The Court held that the differential treatment of girls and boys by the impugned provisions, which permitted the girl-child to marry  underage with the consent of a third party (such as a parent or guardian) was discriminatory and infringed the right to equality. The Court therefore declared the impugned provisions unconstitutional and ordered the government to review the law in accordance with its obligations under Article 6 of the Maputo Protocol and Article 21 the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, with a view to setting the age of marriage at 18, the age of consent, with full consent from the girl, and without exceptions.

The  Court could not agree that the provisions infringed on the right to expression and information, because the petitioner did not present  any evidence to substantiate those claims.

Comment: The Court did not address the aspect of human dignity, also raised by the petitioner, which is central to the practice of child marriage and the attitudes surrounding the sexuality of the girl-child. By treating the girl-child as the means to some material or non-material end, the practice of child-marriage is first and foremost a violation of the dignity of the girl-child.  Her body and sexuality are regarded as property that families can exchange for economic gain or honor or both. Further, maintaining virginity before marriage is a powerful motivation behind practices such as denying the girl-child comprehensive sexuality information and education, and restricting her freedom to make decisions regarding sexual relationships. The practice of child marriage therefore sustains the violation a host of other human rights of the girl-child, such as rights to sexual and reproductive health, sexuality information and education.

Related Resources:

Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe  outlawed child marriage under 18 years old: Mudzuru & Another v Ministry of Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs (N.O.) & Others (Const. Application No. 79/14) [2015] ZWCC 12 (20 January 2016);  Decision online.   Detailed case summary by Godfrey Kangaude. Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts (2017)

Forced Out: Mandatory Pregnancy Testing and the Expulsion of Pregnant Students in Tanzanian Schools (Center for Reproductive Rights, 2013).  Fact-Finding Report.

Child Marriage in South Asia: Stop the Impunity (Center for Reproductive Rights, 2013) Fact-Finding Report.

United Nations General Assembly Adopts Resolution to end Child, Early, and  Forced Marriage Worldwide   (Dec. 19, 2016) CRR Press release.

__________________________
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.


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – January 2017

January 13, 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

Ireland has offered Amanda Jane Mellet 30,000 euros as compensation for denying her access to abortion, forcing her to travel to Britain.  .News article.

Malta:  The morning-after pill will be made available over-the-counter in Malta and will not require a doctor’s prescription. News article.

Northern Ireland teenager is taking National Health Service to supreme court over its refusal to fund abortions for woman from Northern Ireland.  News article.

Tanzania [child marriage] Rebeca Gyumi v. Attorney General Miscellaneous Civil Cause No 5 of 2016 July 8, 2016  (High Court of Tanzania, unreported) decided [Third party consent to girls’ marriage under 18 is unconstitutional – equality argument] Decision onlineAbstract by Godfrey Kangaude.

United Nations General Assembly Adopts Resolution to end Child, Early, and  Forced Marriage Worldwide   (Dec. 19, 2016) CRR Press release.

RESOURCES

[Brazil] “Zika Infection in Brazil and Human Rights Obligations,” by  Debora Diniz, Sinara Gumieri, Beatriz Galli Bevilacqua, Rebecca J. Cook and Bernard M. Dickens, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 136.1 (Jan. 2017) 105-110.
PDF online for 12 months.    Submitted typescript.

[Conscience, conscientious objection]  Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26.1 Special Section:  Table of Contents access
— Conscientious Objection in Healthcare: Problems and Perspectives, by Alberto Giubilini, Julian Savulescu
— Conscientious Objection in Healthcare and Moral Integrity, by Mark Wicclair
— Tolerance, Professional Judgment, and the Discretionary Space of the Physician, by Daniel P. Sulmasy
— Conscientious Objection and “Effective Referral”  by Roger Trigg
— My Conscience May Be My Guide, but You May Not Need to Honor It, by Hugh LaFollette
— The Legal Ethical Backbone of Conscientious Refusal, by Christian Munth, Morten Ebbe Juul Nielsen
— The Cost of Conscience: Kant on Conscience and Conscientious Objection, by Jeanette Kennett
— The Inevitability of Assessing Reasons in Debates about Conscientious Objection in Medicine, by Robert F. Card
— Two Concepts of Conscience and their Implications for Conscience-Based Refusal in Healthcare by Steve Clarke
— Conscientious Objection, Complicity in Wrongdoing, and a Not-So-Moderate Approach by Francesca Minerva
— How to Allow Conscientious Objection in Medicine While Protecting Patient Rights, by Aaron Ancell and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
— Conscientious Non-objection in Intensive Care, by Dominic Wilkinson  open access

[Latin America]    Sexo, Delitos y Pecados: Intersecciones entre religión, género, sexualidad y el derecho en América Latina [Sex, crimes and sins: Intersections among religion, gender, sexuality and law in Latin America], ed. Macarena Saez and Jose Manuel Moran Faundes. More info and free book download.

JOBS

University of Toronto – Visiting Professor at the Centre for Ethics 2017-2018.   Apply by Feb. 1, 2017.  Visiting Faculty Fellowships.

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.


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates – Nov. 2016

November 24, 2016

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

Gender Justice Uncovered Awards – internationally elected, from cases abstracted by Women’s Link Worldwide:   Best and Worst Judgments of the year.

India: High Court on its own Motion v.  The State of Maharashtra, Suo Motu Public Interest Litigation No. 1 of 2016,  Civil Appellate Jurisdiction, High Court of Judicature at Bombay,  India, September 19, 2016. [Prison inmate granted abortion on compassionate grounds.]  Judgment online.

Spain: Tribunal Constitucional, Sentencia S.T.C. 145/2015, 25 de junio de 2015, 2015182 BOE 66654.  [Seville pharmacy had been fined €3,000 in 2008 for refusing to sell emergency contraceptive, but Spanish constitutional court overturns decision on appeal.]  Spanish judgment now online, including dissenting opinions.  Published decisionEnglish newspaper report. Summary by Women’s Link Worldwide

Tanzania: decision against child marriage:  Rebeca Z. Gyumi v The Attorney General, Miscellaneous Civil Cause No. 5 of 2016, Date of Judgment: 8/7/2016,  [Tanzanian age of marriage laws are found discriminatory and unconstitutional]   Decision online Comment by Girls Not Brides.org

CALLS FOR PAPERS:

“Disability and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights”  Reproductive Health Matters 25.49, (June 2017). Submit paper by  (extended) deadline Dec. 10, 2016.   Detailed call for papers.

Disability: “The notion of maternal immunity in tort for pre-natal harms causing permanent disability for the born alive child”  Human Rights Controversies,  Special Issue of The International Journal of Human Rights.  Submit paper by February 1, 2017.  Detailed call for papers

“Equality rights, human rights or social justice…”  Journal of Law and Equality (peer-reviewed, student-run) is currently accepting submissions for its Spring 2017 publication.  It publishes research articles, case comments, notes, and book reviews by a diverse group of commentators including professors, practitioners, and students.  Submit papers to  JLE  at gmail. com

RESOURCES

[abortion] “Mandatory Waiting Periods and Biased Counseling Requirements in Central and Eastern Europe: Restricting Access to Abortion, Undermining Human Rights, and Reinforcing Harmful Gender Stereotypes.” Center for Reproductive Rights.  Fact Sheet online.

[abortion law, Chile]   Debates y reflexiones en torno a la despenalización del aborto en Chile, Lidia Casas Becerra y Delfina Lawson  (LOM, 2016).  Libro en línea, 325 paginasIndice en Espanol.

[abortion law, Latin America, constitutions]  Paola Bergallo and Agustina Ramón Michel, “Constitutional Developments in Latin American Abortion Law,”  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 135 (2016) 228–231.   PDF online here

[abortion, rape and child marriage  in Sri Lanka]  Submission    to    the    Committee    against    Torture    re  the Sri    Lanka’s Fifth    State    Party    Report, October    2016 by the OMCT (World Organization Against Torture) and Global Justice Center, focuses on how Sri Lankan law violates the Convention Against Torture by banning abortion in most circumstances, and by authorizing rape in certain instances and child marriage.
Press Release     Shadow Report

[conscientious objection, Canada] “Let Thy Conscience Be Thy Guide (But Not My Guide!): Physicians and the Duty to Refer” (October 12, 2016) Daphne Gilbert, McGill Journal of Law and Health 2016 10(2).  Abstract and Article.

[fetal abnormality testing] “Ethical and Legal Aspects of Noninvasive Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis,” by Bernard M. Dickens,  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 124.2 (2014): 181-184. Abstract and Article.

[personhood and assisted reproduction, Argentina]   “The Lingua Franca of Reproductive Rights: The American Convention on Human Rights and the Emergence of Human Legal Personhood in the New Civil and Commerce Code of Argentina,” by Martin Hevia and Carlos Herrera Vacaflor, 23 U. Miami Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 687 -740. Article online.

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

JOBS

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


South Africa: customary marriage cannot justify rape

March 10, 2016

Many thanks to Godfrey Kangaude, LL.M. (UFS), LL.M. (UCLA), Executive Director of the Malawi Law Society and Co-Director of Nyale Institute for Sexual and Reproductive Health Governance, for writing a new African case summary for the forthcoming publication, Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts:

Nvumeleni Jezile v The State, High Court Case No: A 127/2014 (High Court of South Africa)  Decision online.   Full Case summary.

The appellant in this case had negotiated a customary marriage with the relatives of a 14-year-old girl prior to forcibly abducting, marrying, raping, and assaulting her.   At trial, the appellant had already been convicted of human trafficking, rape and common assault, and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was serving sentence. 

The issue on appeal relevant to this analysis was whether the trial court’s determination of the issues should have taken into account the practice of customary marriage or ukuthwala, which allows the bride to be coerced.

The High Court held that the practice of ukuthwala on which the appellant relied for his defence is not customary marriage itself.  Rather, it is one of the processes leading to negotiations for a customary marriage.

Further, the appellant relied on an aberrant form of ukuthwala to justify coercion. The consensus amongst the experts on customary marriage and law was that the true form of ukuthwala requires consent of the woman.

Practices associated with the aberrant form of ukuthwala do not comply with the requirements of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 (RCMA), and cannot be protected.  Section 3(1) of the RCMA requires: (a) prospective spouses should be over the age of 18 years, (b) both must consent to the customary marriage, and (c) the process must be in accordance with customary law. Sections 3(3)(a) and 3(4)(a) provide for conditions under which a person below the age of 18 can enter into customary marriage with the consent of parents or guardians.
_____________________

Full case summary by Godfrey Kangaude is online here.

Legal Grounds: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in African Commonwealth Courts   (2000 to 2008) Volumes I and II can be downloaded here.  Our update will be published early in 2017:  Decisions already identified for inclusion  are online here.  New case summaries are attached every month.   If you can suggest other cases, please do!   How You Can Help.

 


REPROHEALTHLAW Updates

May 28, 2015

REPROHEALTHLAW-L  May 28, 2015

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.

DECISIONS

GENDER JUSTICE OBSERVATORY-  Voting open until May 31, 2015
Vote the Best or Worst Decisions that promote or negatively affect gender equality
View all Nominated Decisions:   English    Spanish
How to vote:  English video    Spanish video

KENYA:  Hospital liable for costs of unwanted child after failure to implant contraceptive.
AAA v. Registered Trustees of Aga Khan University Hospital, Civil Case no. 3 of 2013, High Court of Kenya at Nairobi, Civil Division.
Decision online.    Newspaper summaryDetailed summary by Godfrey Kangaude

PHILIPPINES – Contraception ban in Manila, inquiry report by UN – CEDAW, finds reproductive rights violations and discrimination. CEDAW inquiry report online.   Center for Reproductive Rights Press release.

SOUTH AFRICA – “Ukuthwala (customary law) is not a defence against rape of a child.”
High Court of the Western Cape
Jezile v S (A127/2014) [2015] ZAWCHC (23 March 2015)
Detailed Case Summary of Jezile case.  Entire Judgment.
University of Pretoria’s Centre for Child Law: Press Release

UGANDA – Preventable maternal death and constitutional right to health – Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and others v. Attorney General, Constitutional Petition No. 16 of 2011 (Constitutional Court of Uganda) [2012] UGCC 4, 5 June 2012. Decision online.   Legal Comment.    NEWS: Overruled by Supreme Court in 2015.

EVENTS:

“Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Health Law”
UNESCO Chair in Bioethics 11th World Conference
Royal Continental Congress Center
October 20-22, 2015, Naples, Italy  Conference details.

2016 FIAPAC Conference
13 – 15 October 2016
Lisbon, Portugal  Conference details.

RESOURCES

Inspiring a Medico-Legal Revolution: Essays in Honour of Sheila McLean,  ed. Pamela Ferguson and Graeme Laurie (Ashgate,  June 2015)
Book abstract and details .
Part I:  Issues at the Beginning of Life, includes:

1 Reproductive Health and the Law, by Rebecca J. Cook and Bernard M. Dickens,

2 DIY Abortion and Harm Reduction, by Emily Jackson,

3 Parenthood and Artificial Human Reproduction: The Dangers of Inappropriate Medicalisation, by Kenneth McK. Norrie,

4 ‘Fetal Infants’: At the Edge of Life? by Margot Brazier and John Harris.

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective:  Cases and Controversies, ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens, 16 chapters.  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014, 482 pages. Introduction by the editors: online through SSRN. Book reviewers should contact Gigi Lamm (glamm {a} pobox. upenn. edu) Includes 16 chapters, Table of Legislation, Table of Cases, also online here, with links to abortion-related decisions in English and/or other languages). Table of Contents online here. Purchase info: link to U Penn Press.

[abortion] The Responsibility Objection to Abortion: Rejecting the Notion that the Responsibility Objection Successfully Refutes a Woman’s Right to Choose, by Ian K. McDaniel,  Bioethics, 29.4 (2015)  pp. 291-299, 2015. Abstract online.

[conscience]  Managing Conscientious Objections in Intensive Care Medicine,  An Official American Thoracic Society Policy Statement, by Thaddeus Mason Pope and Mithya Lewis-Newby, Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Jan 15;191(2):219-27. Abstract Online.

[conscience]  Medical Law Review – special issue 23, on Conscience and Proper Medical Treatment, intro Sara Fovargue, Sheelagh McGuinness, Alexandra Mullock, and Stephen Smith
— Medicine and Abortion Law, by Sheelagh McGuinness and Michael Thomson
— Conscientious Objection:  Personal and Professional Ethics in the Public Square, by Jonathan Montgomery
— “In Good Conscience”:  Conscience-based exemptions and Proper Medical Treatment, by Sara Fovargue and Mary Neal
— Making decisions about decision-making: Conscience, Regulation and the Law, by José Miola
— A Bridge too Far: Individualised Claims of Conscience, by Stephen W. Smith
— Gillick Reinstated: Judging Mid-Childhood Competence in Healthcare Law: An NHS Trust v. ABC and a local Authority [2014] EWHC 1445 (FAM)
— Book Review:  Conscience and Conviction: The case for civil disobedience, by Clayton Ó Néill

[Ethics] New guidelines from the FIGO  for the Ethical Aspects of Human Reproduction and Women’s Health, published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics (IJGO)
— Health consequences of child or adolescent marriage,  IJGO 128.1, Jan. 2015, pp 83-84. Online
 — Adolescent pregnancies, IJGO  128.2, Feb. 2015, pp. 185-186  Online.
— Conscientious objection in training IJGO 128.1 1, Jan 2015, pp. 89-90  Online.
— Women’s post-reproductive lives, IJGO 128. 2, Feb. 2015, pp. 189-190.  Online.
— Healthcare professionals’ responses to violence against women, IJGO 128.1, Jan. 2015, pp 87-88.  Online.
— Conflict of interest, including relationships with industry, IJGO 128.3, Mar. 2015, pp 282-283.  Online.

Holistic Pregnancy: Rejecting the Theory of the Adversarial Mother, by Rona Kaufman Kitchen, Hastings Women’s Law Journal, 26.2( 2015)  Article online.

[Latin America] “Reproduction and the Rule of Law in Latin America, by Michele Goodwin and Allison M. Whelan, Fordham Law Review, Vol. 83, No. 5, 2015; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2015-44. Article online.

NEWS

Dominican Republic: Abortion Law Debated in Supreme Court,
Center for Reproductive Rights Press release

Ecuador – CEDAW recommends to decriminalize abortion for rape, incest and severe fetal impairment,  Concluding Observations – Ecuador.  Press release from Human Rights Watch.

Guyana:  Twenty years after legalization, the stigma of abortion still prevents effective implementation, by Fred Nunes (in Stabroek Newspaper)

Mexico:  legal grounds for abortion have been increased in three Mexican states: Guerrero, Michoacan and Tlaxcala. GIRE report

Morocco  considers new abortion law, led by the king and a gynecologist.  Guardian newspaper

Myanmar: population control bill signed into law despite concerns it could be used to persecute minorities.  News report.

Paraguay:  Raped 10-year old denied abortion is “tantamount to torture” claims Amnesty International.  News report

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

World Health Organization:  Misoprostol for treating Post-Partum Hemorrhage is included in the Model List of Essential Medicines
Model List.

Zimbabwe: Child brides take government to court over marriage laws.  News report.

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.


Africa: New book on Strengthening protection of SRH through Human Rights

February 26, 2015

Congratulations to Charles Ngwena and Ebenezer Durojaye, editors of this useful 365-page book available online here!   We are delighted to provide an overview and Table of Contents below.

Strengthening the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the African region through human rights, ed. Charles Ngwena and Ebenezer Durojaye (Pretoria, South Africa:  Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), 2014) 12 chapters, 365 pages.   Entire book online!

Strengthening the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the African region through human rights uses rights-based frameworks to address some of the serious sexual and reproductive health challenges that the African region is currently facing. More importantly, the book provides insightful human rights approaches on how these challenges can be overcome. The book is the first of its kind. It is an important addition to the resources available to researchers, academics, policymakers, civil society organisations, human rights defenders, learners and other persons interested in the subject of sexual and reproductive health and rights as they apply to the African region. Human rights issues addressed by the book include: access to safe abortion and emergency obstetric care; HIV/AIDS; adolescent sexual health and rights; early marriage; and gender-based sexual violence.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Foreword by Commissioner Soyata Maiga   (Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa) (p. viii)
INTRODUCTION: 
1.  Strengthening the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the African region through human rights: An introduction
by Charles Ngwena and Ebenezer Durojaye  (page 1)

PART I: REPRODUCTIVE AUTONOMY, ACCESS TO SAFE ABORTION AND EMERGENCY OBSTETRIC CARE:
2.  Reducing abortion-related maternal mortality in Africa:
Progress in implementing Objective 5 of the Maputo Plan of Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights
          by Eunice Brookman-Amissah and Tinyade Kachika    (page 31)
3.  Access to legal abortion for rape as a reproductive health right: A commentary on the abortion
regimes of Swaziland and Ethiopia
           by Simangele Mavundla and Charles Ngwena     (page 61)
4.  Abortion and the European Convention on Human Rights: A lens for abortion advocacy in Africa
           by Christina Zampas and Jaime Todd-Gher     (page 79)
5.  Accountability for non-fulfilment of human rights obligations:
A key strategy for reducing maternal mortality and disability in sub-Saharan Africa
           by Onyema Afulukwe-Eruchalu      (page 119)
PART II: HIV/AIDS FOCUS:
6.  Adolescent girls, HIV, and state obligations under the African Women’s Rights Protocol
           by Karen Stefiszyn  (page 155)
7.  Advancing a feminist capabilities approach to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa
           by Rebecca Amollo (page 181)
8.  The right to health and AIDS medicines in sub-Saharan Africa:
Assessing the outcomes of a human rights-based approach to medicines
           by Lisa Forman  (page 211)

PART III: SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS:
INTERSECTIONS WITH ADOLESCENCE, EARLY MARRIAGE, GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND POVERTY:
9.  Sexual health and rights of adolescents: A dialogue with sub-Saharan Africa
           by Godfrey Kangaude and Tiffany Banda  (page 251)
10.  Promoting sexual and reproductive rights through legislative interventions:
A case study of child rights legislation and early marriage in Nigeria and Ethiopia
           by Ayodele Atsenuwa (page 279)
11.  Gaps in gender-based violence jurisprudence of international and hybrid criminal courts:
Can human rights law help?
           by Susana Sácouto  (page 305)
12. Women, sexual rights and poverty: Framing the linkage under the African human rights system
           by Fana Hagos Berhane  (page 331)

REPROHEALTHLAW Updates: Developments, Calls, Resources and News

June 6, 2014

REPROHEALTHLAW BLOG,  June 2014

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:

United Kingdom:  Doctors will be able to approve abortions after conducting consultations over the phone or by Skype, according to new guidance  News article.

United Kingdom: A British high court judge ruled that a 13-year-old girl was mentally capable of deciding to abort her baby  News article.

CALLS AND CONFERENCES:

Call for Abstracts: Overcoming Obstacles – Towards the effective implementation of the rights of women with disabilities in Africa, Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Tues/Wed Nov 4-5, 2014, Submit abstract by June 15, 2014.    Call for abstracts online.

“Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution”
August 7-8,  2014 at the University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada  preliminary program   more info.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Harvard Course on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Litigation. 3-day intensive course Nov. 3-5, plus invitation to “Sexual and Reproductive Rights ‘Lawfare’ in International Tribunals,” 2-day international symposium,  on November 6-7, 2014.  Apply by July 1, 2014.  Course details online.

RESOURCES

Abortion Care, ed. Sam Rowlands, forthcoming, Cambridge University Press,  August 2014.  Paperback.  Further details.   Chapters include:
~  Abortion in international human rights law, by Joanna N. Erdman
~  the Australian experience, by Kerry Petersen
~  Stigma and issues of conscience, by Kelly R. Culwell and Caitlin Gerdts

Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective:  Cases and Controversies,  ed. Rebecca J. Cook, Joanna N. Erdman and Bernard M. Dickens, 16 chapters.  Forthcoming, University of Pennsylvania Press, August 2014.  To receive details when it is published, email reprohealth. law\at/ utoronto. ca with subject “abortion book flyer”.

[abortion – adolescents] “Sixteen and Pregnant: Minors’ Consent in Abortion and Adoption,” by Malinda L. Seymore. Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 25.1 2013. Abstract and Article.

[abortion advocacy strategy] “Using Aikido to Change the Abortion Conversation” (using quotes from bible & saints for pro-choice purposes)   by Valerie Tarico, RH Reality Check article.

[abortion – European Court of Human Rights]    “[The Judgement A, B and C v. Ireland and the Question of Abortion: A ‘New Departure’ in the European Court of Human Rights on Consensus and Margin of Appreciation?] 
= La sentencia A, B y C contra Irlanda y la cuestión del aborto: ¿Un ‘punto de inflexión’ en la jurisprudencia del Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos en materia de consenso y margen de apreciación nacional?”   by Francisco Javier Mena Parras,  Anuario de Derechos Humanos No. 8, 2012, pp. 115-124.   Abstracts in Spanish and English,   Article in Spanish.

[abortion – sex selection.] “Replacing Myths with Facts: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States.”  by the International Human Rights Clinic of the University of Chicago, in partnership with National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). (2014)   Abstract and 46-page report.

[conscience] “Religion as a Legal Proxy” by Micah Schwartzman, forthcoming,  San Diego Law Review,  Abstract and article online.

“Conscientious objection and refusal to provide reproductive healthcare: A white paper examining prevalence, health consequences, and policy responses,” by Wendy Chavkin, Liddy Leitman, and Kate Polin, for Global Doctors for Choice  69-page paper in English. now also in Spanish.
—“ ‘Dishonourable disobedience’ – Why refusal to treat in reproductive healthcare is not conscientious objection” by Christian Fiala and  Joyce H. Arthur, forthcoming  in Woman – Psychosomatic Gynaecology and Obstetrics, proofs online
—Followup blogpost: “Competing Rights: Exploring the Boundaries of ‘Conscientious Objection” by Wendy Chavkin online at RH Reality Check.

[divorce – Philippines] “Reintroduction of Divorce in the Philippines,” LL.M. thesis by Jihan Jacob.  Abstract online, with author’s contact information

Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health – 65 articles published in the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics  available online, including Reducing Stigma in Reproductive Health, and  Noninvasive pre-natal genetic diagnosis .

[Poland] 6th Congress of Women, May 9-10, 2014, Warsaw, Poland, 10 demands include:  “Recognition of women’s rights to make decisions concerning reproduction, including right to sex education for everyone introduced in primary school.” presented to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.  Demands online.

[sterilization] Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization – An interagency statement by OHCHR, UN Women, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO, May 2014, 17 page report

[women’s rights] “Women’s Charters and Declarations: Building Another World,” by Rashida Manjoo (United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women)  (London: Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), 2013)  89-page report 

[wrongful birth – Canada] “Supressing Damages in Involuntary Parenthood Actions: Contorting Tort Law, Denying Reproductive Freedom, and Discriminating Against Mothers” by Bruce Feldthusen, (working paper, May 5, 2014).

NEWS

[child marriage – Pakistan] Bill prohibiting child marriage now a law.  News report

Chile Might Change One Of The Most Restrictive Abortion Laws In The World.    News Article.  Later article.

[embryos] European Commission will not stop financing activities that destroy embryos.  Reply to “One of Us” initiative, may 28, 2014.  Press release in many languages.

[Guyana]  Plans being refined to offer abortion service at public hospitals – Chief Medical Officer says.  News article.

Jamaican MP, Dayton Campbell, a medical doctor and lawyer, advocates reform of “ancient” abortion laws –  June 1, 2014  newspaper article.

[polygamy – Kenya]   President Uhuru Kenyatta Signs controversial law legalizing the longstanding customary practice of polygamy.
BBC Report .  CNN Report.

[Senegal]  11-year-old girl, refused abortion after rape, gives birth prematurely to twins. News article.

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

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.