Every month, in a relaxed location in central London the London Legal Salon will meet to discuss the big questions facing the law today. Attendance is always free. This blog will publish articles by attendees and the organisers to supplement the debates at our monthly meetings.

Every meeting will be introduced by a short talk from a lawyer or commentator in the area under examination. The discussion will then be opened to those attending to make contributions or ask questions. The meetings will last around ninety minutes and operate under Chatham House rules.

The discussions and the articles on this website will look to scrutinise the black letter of the law and its implications in the Courts and wider society. They will also look to situate the law in its historical and political context. We hope that by developing an understanding of where the law has come from, and why the law has taken the form it has today, we may begin to form an idea of where we want it to go.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Abortion and the Law

The London Legal Salon will be kicking off 2015 with a series of debates on Abortion and the Law, in association with the King’s College London Life Society and Right To Life (RTL), which will examine the political climate around abortion in the 21st Century. Our speakers include those at the forefront of both the legal and political changes in the field.

‘Abortion and Protest: Do We Need Buffer Zones?’ (February 10th, 19:00, The October Gallery, £5)
In late 2014 the Labour party indicated their support for legal ‘buffer zones’ around abortion clinics to prevent protests from interfering with the provision of services. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Britain's largest abortion provider, supported the move saying that the pro-life protests outside their clinics cause unwarranted levels of distress to those seeking to access lawful healthcare. Is this an acceptable limitation on the freedom to protest, or an unnecessary expansion of the law into the regulation of free speech?
Speakers: Frank Furedi (University of Kent), Tim Stanley (Daily Telegraph).

‘Abortion – A Legal History’ (February 17th, 19:00, Upstairs at the Perseverance WC1N 3NB)
This seminar will present the history of abortion law in the 20th Century and invite discussion. Readings will be provided in advance.
Speaker: Barbara Hewson (Barrister, 1 Grays Inn Square)

‘What is the Moral Status of the Unborn Child?’ (24th February, 18:15-20:45, Room KU4.12, King’s College London)
The morality of abortion is one of the most contentious ethical issues of modern times. Should a fetus be given moral worth? At what stage does an unborn child become worthy of moral consideration, if at all?
Speakers: Ann Furedi (Chief Executive, British Pregnancy Advisory Service) and Peter D. Williams (Executive Officer, Right To Life)

‘Abortion and Free Speech: Whose Opinion Matters?’ *(3rd March, 19:00, Room KU4.12, King’s College London)
In 2014, a debate at Oxford University between two male journalists was cancelled following a campaign by students. The campaign voiced concerns that the debate would not include a female contributor and would not be fully representative. Do men’s opinions matter in the discussion on abortion? Is a debate on the morality of abortion possible in the absence of a female perspective? Is it a debate open to all or do some views matter more than others?
Speakers: TBC

Please email londonlegalsalon@gmail.com to book a place at a particular debate.


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