Victoria Gillick

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Victoria Gillick
Victoria D. M. Gudgeon

1946 (age 73–74)
Hendon, UK
Known forCampaign for the 1985 UK House of Lords ruling which became known as the "Gillick competence"
Spouse(s)Gordon Gillick
Children10 children (five sons, five daughters)

Victoria D. M. Gillick (née Gudgeon; born 1946, Hendon) is a British activist and campaigner best known for the eponymous 1985 UK House of Lords ruling[1] that considered whether contraception could be prescribed to under-16s without parental consent or knowledge. The ruling established the term "Gillick competence" to describe whether a minor (below the age of 16) is able to consent to his or her own medical treatment, without the need for parental permission or knowledge.

A Roman Catholic mother of 10 children (five sons, five daughters), Gillick began her campaign in 1980 in response to a DHSS circular issuing guidance on contraceptive prescribing. After it was considered in lower courts, the House of Lords ruled that in some circumstances a minor could consent to treatment, and that in these circumstances a parent had no power to veto treatment.[citation needed]

In 2000, Gillick lost a libel action[2] against the Brook Advisory Centres, which she claimed accused her of being "morally responsible" for a rise in teenage pregnancies. Costs of £4,298.15 were awarded against her. In 2002, however, she won an apology and damages amounting to £5,000 and costs.[3]

Living in Wisbech,[4] she is married to Cambridgeshire County Councillor and former UKIP councillor Gordon Gillick.[5] One of their sons is the painter James Gillick.


  1. ^ 1983: Mother loses contraception test case,; accessed 5 December 2016.
  2. ^ Victoria Gillick 'broke' after losing libel case,; accessed 18 May 2017.
  3. ^ Morals campaigner wins damages,; accessed 5 December 2016.
  4. ^ OLD RATCLIFFIAN NEWS; retrieved 5 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Ukip councillor Gordon Gillick: 'Poor, badly educated people are fat because they like it'",, 24 July 2014.