Evolution of the Right to Life Consequences of this Evolution on Human Rights and Freedoms

French Case Study

  • Pellet Philippe
doi: 10.32559/et.2022.1-2.10


After the horrors of the Second World War, European countries established a new political and legal framework with the aim of protecting individuals against the excesses of the State and preventing such horrors from happening again. This new order was launched by the Council of Europe, founded in 1949 with the aim of promoting human rights and democracy throughout Europe. The Council’s first task was to draft the European Convention on Human Rights, adopted on 4 November 1950, inspired by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This undertaking aimed at reinforcing human rights by making them binding in order to avoid the violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms by the States. But a shift occurred in the early 1970s with the legalisation of abortion which was the starting point of an evolution of the conception of the first of the human rights – the right to life –, and of the human person. One by one, this process led to the creation of new rights. The analysis of this evolution through the example of France, “the Country of Human Rights”, allows to highlight the mechanisms which, in this country, led to the redefinition of rights and fundamental freedoms under the aegis of the European Court of Human Rights, the reference in the matter in Europe.


Human Rights Common European Values rule of law Christianity Legalization of Abortion European Court of Human Rights European Convention on Human Rights Universal Declaration of Human Rights


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