Monday, October 21, 2013

UPDATE: Circumstitions News Back from Hiatus

Activity at Circumstitions News was suspended for a few weeks. Here is a list of several important events that took place during that time:
  • The Genital Autonomy Symposium at Keele was told by a London QC that infant circumcision is already contrary to the law. In a wide-ranging address, London Queen's Counsel James Chewidden demonstrated how non-therapeutic infant circumcision is in breach of natonal and international law.
    He cited cases, such as Re A (minors: conjoined twins), in which Lord Walker said:
    "Every human being's right to life carries with, as an intrinsic part of it, rights of bodily integrity and autonomy - the right to have one's own body whole and intact and (upon reaching an age of understanding) to take decisions about one's body."...and Re Marion [sterilisation of an intellectually handicapped girl]:"Conclusion relies on a fundamental right to personal inviolability existing in the common law, a right which underscores the principles of assault, both criminal and civil."
    McHugh J, a member of the majority in that case, had more to say:
    "The common law accepts that a person has rights of self-control and self-determination in respect of his or her body which other persons must respect. Thus, the legal requirement of consent to body interference protects the autonomy and dignity of the individual and limits the power of others to interfere with that person's body."
    Mr Chegwidden was speaking at the 2013 International Symposium of Genital Autonomy, at Keele University, Staffordshire.
    Only one judicial statement has ever claimed infant circumcision is legal, and that was in passing (in a 1994 case [R v. Brown 1AC 212] of adult men voluntarily wounding each other for sexual purposes), with no reference or precedent, though it has been cited in defence of circumcision many times since.
  • Children's Ombudsmen of five Scandinavian countries, and several Danish political parties came out together against infant circumcision.
  • The Council of Europe condemned infant circumcision as a human rights violation, with a predictible reaction. And on a lighter note,
  • Any British royal circumcision tradition is thoroughly refuted.