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centre for public law

Faculty of Law


Dalia Leinarte is Professor of History at Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania, and Chairperson of the UN CEDAW Committee. She has written extensively on women and family in Imperial Russia, and the former Soviet Union, and has previously won a Fulbright award and American Association of University Women (AAUW) international scholarship.

Brian Francis Kerr is the first Justice of The Supreme Court to come from Northern Ireland. Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1970, and to the Bar of England and Wales at Gray’s Inn in 1974, Kerr then served as Junior Crown Counsel from 1978 to 1983. He went on to serve as Senior Crown Counsel from 1988 to 1993, and in 1993 was appointed a Judge of the High Court and knighted.


He became Lord Chief Justice and joined the Privy Council in 2004. 

Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. She specialises in human rights, public law and media law, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Gallagher is also a member of the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign.

Brice Dickson is the Emeritus Professor at The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast. He has written extensively on judicial politics and international human rights, and is a visiting professor at Fordham University New York, the University of New South Wales and the University of Melbourne.

In 1999, Dickson was appointed as the first Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, serving until 2005.

Nathalie Lieven QC is a barrister at Blackstone Chambers and has represented the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. As well as human rights, Lieven specialises in environmental, planning, energy, and public law.

In 2017, she was named Environment and Planning Law Silk of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards.

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

Blackstone Chambers, London

Professor of Law at Queen Mary, University of London, Solicitor of the Supreme Court (non-practicing)

Barrister, Four Courts, Dublin

Chairman, Young Bar Committee, The Bar of Ireland

Barrister, Four Courts, Dublin

Lawyers for No

University Lecturer in Law and Director of Studies at Jesus  College, Cambridge

Tickets for the conference are now on sale through Eventbrite, and will be available up to the morning of the event. Please note that there will be a small booking fee per ticket.

If you have any queries, or encounter ticketing problems, please get in touch.

Crowdfund ticket-holders

If you were a donor to our crowdfunder, you may be able to gain free entry to the conference. Please check your email inbox for more information.


This conference will explore what human rights law has to say on the issue of abortion in 2018. 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, and across Europe, today. This issue deserves the full engagement of our best legal minds. To this end, the conference 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.


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. Papers will be presented and panels moderated by both “pro-choice” and

“pro-life” lawyers, academics, and postgraduate researchers.

The conference is being organised by students and activists from the University of Cambridge, Queen Mary University of London, and Northern Ireland. The lead convenor is Cambridge undergraduate Law student, Helen Jennings.

It is being held at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, on Friday 28th September, 2018.


The conference committee would like to thank everyone who contributed to our crowdfunding appeal, with particular mention going to the Centre for Public Law, and the Centre for Law, Medicine & Life Sciences. Thank you also to the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law for hosting the conference, and to Pembroke College and Peterhouse for their continued support.


centre for public law

Faculty of Law


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