Prisoners, Their Partners and the Right to Family Life
8 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 2, 2011
Does the right to ‘found a family’ (Article 12) mean that prisoners and their partners should be granted access to artificial insemination facilities? In Dickson v United Kingdom the European Court of Human Rights, by a majority, decided that the UK was entitled to restrict prisoners’ access to AI to exceptional cases only. The Dickson's did not qualify, despite the fact that Mrs Dickson would be too old to conceive naturally when Mr Dickson was released from prison. In this note, I explore the Court’s reasoning and challenge some of the assumptions which underpin the majority’s judgment.
Keywords: child law, family law, artificial insemination, prisoners, European court of human rights, conceive naturally
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