Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_88399

Prisoner fails to prove right to found a family

9 April 2001
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 102

The Court of Appeal has dismissed the claim made by prisoner Gavin Mellor that his human rights were breached by the refusal of access to artificial insemination services while he was in prison.

Last year, Mellor requested that he be able to attend a clinic so that his wife could be artificially inseminated with his sperm and they could have a child. The Home Secretary refused his request on the grounds that the grant of facilities for access to fertility services for prisoners and their partners was, for policy reasons, limited to exceptional circumstances. The Home Secretary did not believe that such circumstances existed in this case.

Mellor sought judicial review of that decision but leave to apply was not granted. Mellor appealed this decision, stating that the refusal was in contravention of his human rights, specifically under Articles 8 (respect for private and family life) and Article 12 (right to marry and found a family) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). He argued that artificial insemination was a way of exercising his rights that was compatible with his imprisonment.

The judges in the Court of Appeal stated that a primary purpose of imprisonment was punishment by the deprivation of certain rights and freedoms, including the pleasures of family life and the exercise of conjugal rights. This does not mean that a prisoner will never be able to exercise these rights, as the ECHR dictates that the deprivation of rights can only be done proportionately. Leave to appeal to the House of Lords was refused.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Prisoners have no right to father a child, say judges
The Daily Telegraph |  5 April 2001
Refusal to allow prisoner to artificially inseminate wife was not unlawful
|  6 April 2001
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
4 March 2013 - by Michelle Downes 
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has pledged to stop prisoners getting access to IVF treatment at the taxpayer's expense....
28 August 2012 - by Rose Palmer 
A Palestinian prisoner has reportedly fathered a son after his sperm was smuggled out of an Israeli prison where he was serving a life sentence....
20 June 2011 - by Dr Mary Yarwood 
The anger generated by the knowledge that in the UK only one prisoner since 2007 has been granted access to artificial insemination (AI) shows there is very little public support for prisoners starting a family while behind bars...
6 June 2011 - by Ben Jones 
A public inquiry has been launched by the UK's Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke after a newspaper's freedom of information request revealed a prisoner was granted permission to provide sperm for use in artificial insemination with his partner while in custody...
18 October 2010 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
Two Spanish prisoners have reportedly received IVF treatment while in prison...
HAVE YOUR SAY
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.