Beyond Marriage: Philosophy, Politics, Law

I am the convenor of this international and interdisciplinary conference held in Cambridge in May 2019.

There have been significant changes to the institution of marriage in recent years, with many countries introducing same-sex marriage, civil partnerships, and other forms of non-traditional union. For some, marriage is a central institution that must be protected, for others it is inevitably unjust and should be abolished.

This conference will bring together academics and practitioners from philosophy, politics, and law to debate what lies beyond marriage. The programme includes:

Dr Rebecca Steinfeld, claimant in Steinfeld and Keidan v. Secretary of State, “The Equal Civil Partnerships Campaign”

Tim Loughton MP, “Equal Civil Partnerships in the House of Commons”

Andrew Harrop, General Secretary, Fabian Society, “Marriage and the Left”

Jo Miles, Law, University of Cambridge, “Against Civil Partnership”

Prof Robert Wintemute, Law, King’s College London, “Equal Choices for All Couples:  From Same-Sex Civil Partnership to Equal Marriage to Steinfeld & Keidan”.

Prof Lori Watson, Philosophy, San Diego University, “Polygamy and Equality”

Dr Samia Bano, Law, SOAS, “Muslim Marriage in the UK”

Dr Clare Chambers, Philosophy, University of Cambridge, “The Marriage-Free State”

Prof Elizabeth Brake, Philosophy, Arizona State University, “Minimal Marriage”

Chairs: 
Dr Jude Browne, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Cambridge
Prof Ralph Wedgwood, Philosophy, University of Southern California
Dr Findlay Stark, Law, University of Cambridge
Dr Tom Dougherty, Philosophy, University of Cambridge

You can read more about the conference here.

Medically unnecessary genital cutting and the child’s right to bodily integrity: an international expert consensus statement

In American Journal of Bioethics (2019).

Duivenbode and Padela (2019) explored the “cultural boundaries” of Western medicine in light of a high-profile U.S. federal court case—the first to test the 1996 American law prohibiting “female genital mutilation.” Legally, this term refers to the intentional cutting or sewing of “the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years.” The sole exception to the law is medical necessity.  In support of this sole exception, and keeping our focus on the Western medicolegal context for the purposes of this statement, we argue as follows: Under most conditions, cutting a person’s genitals without their informed consent is a violation of their moral and legal right to bodily integrity. As such, it is ethically impermissible unless the person is non-autonomous (incapable of consent) and the cutting is medically necessary.

Full author list: Susan Bewley, King’s College London; Janice Boddy, University of Toronto; Clare Chambers, University of Cambridge; James Chegwidden, Old Square Chambers; Hossein Dabbagh, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies; Dena Davis, Lehigh University; Angela Dawson, University of Technology Sydney; Brian D. Earp, Yale University and University of Oxford; Nuno Ferreira, University of Sussex; Ellen Gruenbaum, Purdue University; Saffron Karlsen, University of Bristol; Antony Lempert, (UK) National Secular Society; Ranit Mishori, Georgetown University School of Medicine; Kai Möller, London School of Economics and Political Science; Steven R. Munzer, UCLA; Sarah O’Neill, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Charlotte R. Proudman, University of Cambridge; Fabienne Richard, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Elizabeth Reis, City University of New York; Eldar Sarajlic, City University of New York; Lauren Sardi, Quinnipiac University; Arianne Shahvisi, Brighton and Sussex Medical School; David Shaw, Maastricht University and University of Basel; Godfrey B.Tangwa, University of Yaounde and Cameroon Bioethics Initiative (CAMBIN); Michael Thomson, University of Leeds and University of Technology Sydney; Anna Wahlberg, Karolinska Institutet