Başak Çalı and other human rights law experts submit amicus brief to US Supreme Court on abortion case

The Court has invited briefs in a case that could challenge long-established abortion rights.

A group of European human rights law experts, including Başak Çalı, Hertie School Professor of International Law and Co-director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights, has submitted an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on a Mississippi case that seeks to whittle down women’s right to abortion in the US.

In the new case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court will consider a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, rather than a nationwide right to abortion prior to viability, which can occur at around 24 weeks of pregnancy, and which was established in the Supreme Court’s nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision. The legislation is similar to recent moves by other states that aim to challenge Roe v. Wade by restricting or eliminating access to abortion.

As part of a participatory process, the US Supreme Court has invited amicus briefs from all interested parties. A wide range of pro- and anti-abortion groups took up this invitation. 

The brief is written by six European law professors with high-level expertise in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. 

“The brief came about as we read that a group of law professors and others submitted briefs specifically on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. We did not think these  presented an accurate account of how abortion rights are protected at the ECHR level and in the forty seven Council of Europe member states,” said Başak Çalı.  

“As law professors with expertise in this field, we therefore decided to submit a full and accurate description of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on the protection of  abortion rights,” she added. 

Find the full brief here.

Find other amicus briefs in the case, Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, et al., Petitioners v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al., on the US Supreme Court website here


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More about Başak Çalı

  • Başak Çalı , Professor of International Law | Co-Director, Centre for Fundamental Rights