Panel on “Parenthood, Reproductive Rights and the European Court of Human Rights” at the ICON-S conference


The “Human Reproduction Reloaded – H2R” project of the University of Zurich has the pleasure to invite you to the panel “Parenthood, Reproductive Rights and the European Court of Human Rights” that will take place on 7 July 2021 from 16:40 to 18.10 Zurich (UTC+2) time at the Annual Conference of the International Society of Public Law (ICON-S).

The panel is chaired by former European Court of Human Rights Judge Helen Keller and features three other members of our project: Prof. Andrea Büchler, Dr Elena Brodeala and PhD Candidate Marie-Hélène Spiess as well as Dr Alice Margarita (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle) and PhD Candidate Matilda Merenmies (European University Institute).

The panel examines how different questions related to parenthood and reproductive rights have been framed in cases before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and reflects on the Court’s challenges to engage with such questions. First, the panel discusses the issue of surrogacy before the ECtHR with reference to two cases against Switzerland, a country where this practice is constitutionally banned. Then the panel will focus on the Court’s potential avenues when dealing with cases of trans men giving birth. This will prepare the ground for a critical analysis of the Court’s variable use of its methods of interpretation and its practical effects on reproductive rights in Europe. Finally, asserting that the protection from pregnancy discrimination is an essential facet of reproductive rights, the panel will examine the Court’s approach in two recent cases on this topic.

The conference will take place on-line and participation is free of charge. Registration is available upon the creation of a free account here:

The abstracts of the papers to be presented during the panel can be found here (PDF, 166 KB) and this is the zoom link for the event: