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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

The provision of abortion services for women, including the extent to which one can consider abortion a “right”, is one of the foremost human rights issues facing citizens of the United Kingdom and Ireland today. This issue deserves the full engagement of our best legal minds. To this end, this conference entitled "The Development of Abortion Rights in a Changing Europe" will be entirely focused on the legal frameworks in place, their interaction with human rights law, and the potential of recent legal and political developments and litigation to change the law. 

The conference, organised in collaboration with the Cambridge Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences, will explore what human rights law has to say on the issue of abortion in 2018. Consideration will be given to issues including the upcoming referendum on Ireland’s 8th Amendment, and the impact of Brexit on abortion law across the UK and Ireland. Discussion will not be limited to the legal framework in Ireland and Northern Ireland, although the issue is currently highly topical for those jurisdictions. Papers are welcome on any topic in the field of development of abortion rights for Europe mindful of the changes that are occurring. A list of themes to consider is included in our call for submissions. The deadline for abstract submissions is March 15th, and we welcome more submissions.  

Crucially, this will not be a propagandist or partisan rally - issues will be dealt with openly, conversation and debate will be sparked and hopefully both our audiences and speakers will come away having heard new and insightful perspectives. We will be accepting paper submissions from both “pro-choice” and “pro-life” lawyers and academics. 

We take this even-handed perspective as integral to the conference’s organisation. We do not want to live in an echo-chamber of opinions; such conditions are not conducive to expansive thought in any academic field.

Please contact the Conference Committee at with any questions, or to request a copy of the call for paper submissions for the conference.

Further information and  registration available here

Key information:

Date: 28th September 2018

Time: 10am - 6pm

Location: LG19, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge. 

Friday, 28 September, 2018 - 10:00 to 18:00
Contact name: 
Helen Jennings
Contact email: 
Event location: 
LG19, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge