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"The Development of Abortion Rights in a Changing Europe"

A project by: Helen Jennings


WE RAISED £4,264

from 50 donors

This project received pledges on Mon 30 Apr 2018
Student-led conference exploring what human rights law has to say on the issue of abortion in 2018.

"The development of abortion rights in a Changing europe" : A Student-Led Conference

We're raising £3,500 to host a conference on "The Development of Abortion Rights in a Changing Europe", to bring together the best legal minds on this important issue. The conference will be held from 9.30am-6pm on 28th September 2018 in the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law, by kind permission of the Faculty. Please sponsor us and help make this happen.

We have £1,000 of matched funding available from Hubbub, so the first £1,000 raised will be matched 1:1 taking us to £2,000! This means that if you make a pledge now, your gift will be worth double the amount at no further cost to you!

Meet the Team

My name is Helen Jennings, I'm from Northern Ireland, and I'm a second-year Law student at Pembroke College. I'm leading a team of 11 driven and passionate people, who have been working their hardest to bring this project to fruition. Our team consists mainly of University of Cambridge undergraduate students, with other valuable team members including legal practitioners, a Trinity College Schools Liaison Officer and a PhD researcher at Queen Mary University London.

Background to the conference

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 today. This issue deserves the full engagement of our best legal minds. To this end, the conference we are organising 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.

The conference, entitled "The Development of Abortion Rights in a Changing Europe", will explore what human rights law has to say on the issue of abortion in 2018, with consideration given to issues including the upcoming referendum on Ireland’s 8th Amendment, and the impact of Brexit on abortion law across the UK and Ireland. Discussion will not be limited to the legal framework in Ireland and Northern Ireland, although the issue is currently at the cutting-edge of legal debate there; papers are welcome on any topic falling under the above title, with a list of themes to consider included in our call for submissions (which was launched on January 15th 2018).

Why human rights?

Applying the framework of human rights to discussion and criticism of the UK and Ireland's abortion law in the context of a changing Europe is not only a tactic for achieving change in the law through litigation. This perspective also demands of the academic/lawyer/reader that they think about the nature and scope of human rights and how the protection of human rights interacts with our ideals of equality and the nature of humanity. Adopting this perspective has the potential to add a great deal to our understanding of the appropriate scope of abortion law, as well as helping to illuminate the legal arguments that are made in this area.

A New Approach

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. We will be accepting paper submissions and having panel spaces open to both “pro-choice” and “pro-life” lawyers, academics, and postgraduate researchers.

We take this even-handed perspective as integral to the conference’s organisation. We do not want to live in an echo-chamber of opinions; such conditions are not conducive to expansive thought in any academic field.

Where will Your money go?

The minimum amount of funding it will take to execute this conference is approximately £3,500. The Cambridge University Faculty of Law have kindly offered us the lecture theatre we require for the day free of charge (saving us £1,500 – the cost of the room hire), and have given us a £100 printing stipend which can be used to publicise the event.

Now we need your help, to raise funds for the following:

  • Accommodation costs for our speakers (seven rooms for two nights each at £50 per night) = £700
  • Travel costs for non-European speaker = £1,000 max.
  • Travel costs for European speakers (2 x £150) = £300
  • Travel costs for UK speakers (4 x £80) = £240
  • Catering (minimum for tea/coffee, lunch, dinner) = £600
  • Presentation (Banners) = £300

Money raised above our £3,500 minimum budget would be spent as follows:

  • Contingency for unexpected costs (e.g. if travel costs for one of our speakers costs more than budgeted)
  • Improving upon our current plans which are costed to the minimum (upgrading provisions for publicity, lunch and dinner, hiring a photographer/videographer etc)
  • Conference packs for attendees
  • Gifts to thank our speakers

The first £1,000 raised will be gift-matched 1:1 by Hubbub, taking us to £2,000. So, if you make a gift now, your gift will be doubled at no further cost to you!


We would love to thank you with a reward for your generosity! Take a look at our various reward bands.

Help us succeed!

Thank you for your donation! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over coffee or on your blog. In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this happen.