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Protocol No. 16 Advisory Opinion

Protocol No. 16 allows the highest courts and tribunals of a High Contracting Party to request the ECtHR to give advisory opinions on questions of principle relating to the interpretation or application of the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention or the protocols thereto. The French Cour de Cassation was the first jurisdiction to make use of this procedure, in a case concerned with the refusal to register on the French birth register the mother of children born abroad under a surrogacy arrangement in the USA where she is recognised as the legal mother. The father’s registration is accepted.  In January The AIRE Centre‘s intervention presented to the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR the relevant international standards to be taken into consideration, in particular the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ongoing proposals of the Hague Convention on Private international Law for the drafting of a new international convention on the cross border issues relative to Parentage and Surrogacy. The intervention was drafted and submitted by the Centre’s lawyers from the perspective of the primacy of child’s best interests. 

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