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Family Law

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Court of Protection Practice and Procedure Conference 2016

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20 SEP 2011

Evans v United Kingdom - judgments of Solomon: power, gender and procreation [2006] CFLQ 576

This note assesses the controversial case of Evans v UK by attempting to make sense of the sympathy that Ms Evans attracted when her plight became publicly known. It analyses the decision with the view to finding a way in which law might have responded more positively to that sympathy. The analysis questions the profound level of control over their reproductive capacity that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 attempts to give people. It considers the context in which that control is given - considering the parallel control that is available to people who procreate beyond the scope of the Act - and reflects on the consequences of that level of control when difficult ethical dilemmas arise. It then goes on to analyse the way in which the human rights norms (inherent in, or peripheral to law) might have been engaged to improve Ms Evans's chances of succeeding in her application. It concludes that the courts should have - and could have - used the human rights norms in the European Convention (incorporated into domestic law in the Human Rights Act 1998) and made a different decision from the one which they reached in this case.

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