Publication details

Access to Abortion in cases of Fatal Fetal Abnormality: A New Direction for the European Court of Human Rights?

Authors

NÍ GHRÁINNE Bríd MCMAHON Aisling MCMAHON Aisling

Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Human Rights Law Review
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Citation
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hrlr/ngz020
Keywords human rights; abortion; fatal foetal abnormality; European Court of Human Rights; United Nations Human Rights Committee
Attached files
Description In contrast to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has not yet found that a prohibition of abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality violates the prohibition of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. We argue that the ECtHR is on the verge of aligning itself with the Committee because, first, recent ECtHR jurisprudence is broadening its interpretation of rights within the abortion context; second, the ECtHR frequently uses international law as an interpretative tool; and, third, moving in the direction of the Committee would not be as controversial as it may have been in the past. More broadly, we view the proliferation of international and regional human rights' treaty regimes as a positive aspect of international human rights law and demonstrate how a body established to adjudicate on human rights disputes can, with some ingenuity, broaden its approach on sensitive topics by engaging with views of other human rights courts and treaty monitoring bodies.