Facebook Twitter Google+ Wordpress YouTube RSS Channel Newsletters

Women Can, Women Act, Women Change!

Ge

En

Ru

UK top court says it can't demand abortion law change in N.Ireland

Category: Gender in the world 
2018-06-07

Britain's Supreme Court expressed the view on Thursday that Northern Ireland's strict abortion law was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, but added it did not have the powers to make a formal declaration that the law should be changed.

 

British-ruled Northern Ireland is left as the only part of Britain or Ireland with such a restrictive regime, after voters in the Irish republic backed the removal of a ban in a landslide vote last month that sparked calls for change in the North.

Abortion rights activists called the court's ruling on the law's incompatibility a "landmark decision" that would put pressure on the British government to act, while anti-abortion groups emphasised there was no requirement to do so.

Four out of seven Supreme Court justices who considered the issue found that the North's current law, which bans abortion except when a mother's life is at risk, was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

However, a different four of the seven ruled that the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, which had initiated legal proceedings to try to liberalise the law, did not have the right to bring the case.

"As such, the court does not have jurisdiction to make a declaration of incompatibility (with human rights law) in this case," the court said in a summary of the decision.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission had argued that the law should be changed to allow abortions in cases where pregnancies were as a result of rape or incest, or in cases where the fetus had a fatal abnormality.

 

"LANDMARK DECISION"

 

The Commission welcomed the court's opinion that the law was incompatible with the European Convention but said it was disappointed in the ruling that it did not have sufficient powers to take the case.

Other campaigners joined the Commission in calling on the British government to act without delay.

"This is a landmark decision that I hope will lead to changes that will improve the lives of women in Northern Ireland and the care they receive. Change on this is needed and needed now," Breedagh Hughes, Royal College of Midwives Director for Northern Ireland, said in a statement.

Northern Ireland's elected assembly has the authority to decide on any changes to its abortion laws. It voted against legislating in cases of fatal abnormality and rape in February 2016 and the assembly has not sat since the devolved government collapsed in January 2017.

Britain's Northern Ireland minister has said she would like the law to be changed but that the matter should be decided by local politicians. The two main parties, which have been unable to restore the province's power-sharing government, are also divided on the issue of abortion.

A lawmaker from the the main Unionist party, which opposes liberalising abortion law and also props up the minority British government in London, said he was "delighted with the decision" of the Supreme Court.

"Had it gone the wrong way Northern Ireland would have faced abortion on demand," the Democratic Unionist Party's Jim Wells told Reuters.


Source 

Previous Page 

Webmaster

 

Announcements

Beyond the Shelter

The youth exhibitions and installations

Women’s Fund in Georgia is honored to invite you to 2016 Kato Mikeladze Award Ceremony

 

Video archive

Research on Youth Views on Gender Equality

 

Gender policy

Colombia shatters glass ceiling with gender-equal cabinet

Men hold the top 14 positions in Theresa May’s cabinet

Walk the talk: India's opposition urges Modi to pass women's bill

 

Photo archive

Swedish politicians visit in WIC

 

Trafficking

Mother Teresa India charity 'sold babies'

Newly-resurfaced video of Allison Mack purportedly shows how she tried to lure women into alleged sex cult

21st century slavery: European anti-trafficking experts raise the alarm over labour exploitation

 

Hot Line

Tel.: 116 006

Consultation Hotline for victims of domestic violence

Tel.: 2 100 229

Consultation Hotline for victims of human trafficking

Tel.: 2 26 16 27

Hotline Anti-violence Network of Georgia (NGO)

ფემიციდი - ქალთა მიმართ ძალადობის მონიტორინგი
eXTReMe Tracker