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Council of Europe: Parliamentary Assembly, surrogacy to be debated again

(Strasbourg) Today the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will again hold a debate on surrogacy. In September, the PACE Committee on Social Affairs had discussed a new draft of the report by De Sutter entitled “Children’s rights related to surrogacy” (draft resolution, draft recommendation, plus an explanatory memorandum). Unlike the previous report, it stated the reasons why the practice of commercial surrogacy should be condemned. Recognising the absence of a consensus among Member States on surrogacy, the report included a proposal to set some minimum rules to be applied where the practice is permitted. In the recommendations, the Committee of Ministers was called upon to draw up guidelines for problems arising in relation to surrogacy. The main objection to the text was that the very purpose of regulating surrogacy would eventually pave the way for its legalisation. The meeting in September, whilst rejecting the draft resolution, had nonetheless approved the draft recommendation. The issue is again set for debate in the Committee today, whilst tomorrow it is likely to be discussed in the Assembly. A vote is likely to be held on the draft recommendation only, which has greater political value but requires a two-third majority, without the resolution. The Committee will also have to deal with numerous conflicting amendments. It should be noted that the Grand Chamber of the Court of Human Rights is still expected to deliver its judgment on the issue of surrogacy in the Paradiso and Campanelli case.

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