Home > Cases > R (on the application of Axon) v. Secretary of State for Health

Landmark members have this week been involved in a major challenge to non-statutory Department of Health guidance. The guidance in question was the Department of Health Guidance to healthcare professionals on the advice and treatment on matters relating to contraception and abortion that they can offer confidentially to young people under the age of sixteen. The challenge claims that the guidance does not accurately reflect the ruling of the House of Lords in Gillick v. West Norfolk & Wisbech Health Authority[1986] AC 112 and that it is contrary to the rights of parents to respect for their family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case centred on the alleged conflict between these rights of parents and the rights of children to confidentiality.

Nathalie Lieven and David Blundell represented the family planning association who intervened in the challenge to support the position adopted in the guidance.

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