“Lucid and Authoritative” Report Provides “Baseline” for Abortion Law Reform says ICCL

Press Release – for immediate release

Dublin, 27 November 2012

Ireland’s human rights watchdog, the  Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has welcomed the publication today (27 November 2011) of the 58-page Report of the Expert Group on the Judgment in A, B and C v Ireland.

ICCL Director Mr Mark Kelly said:

“This lucid and authoritative report provides a clear baseline for abortion law reform.  The Government must now inform the Oireachtas and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of its precise timeline to enact the necessary reforms”.

“The ICCL welcomes the Expert Group’s explicit acknowledgement that Ireland is obliged to implement the binding judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of A, B and C. It is also noteworthy that the Group concludes that sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 “fail to provide specific protection for the right to life of a woman whose life is at risk due to her pregnancy” (page 51 of the report).  Repeal of these sections of the 1861 Act and their replacement with modern legislation is the bare minimum reform required,” Mr Kelly added.

“However, there is no good reason why the Government should limit itself to the minimum action required to implement this one judgment of the Strasbourg court.  It should seize the opportunity to thoroughly overhaul Ireland’s antediluvian laws on abortion, including by rendering lawful the termination of pregnancies involving fatal foetal abnormalities” Mr Kelly concluded.

ENDS

Mark Kelly is available for interview and further comment

For more information, please contact:

Walter Jayawardene
Communications Manager
Irish Council for Civil Liberties
9-13 Blackhall Place
Dublin 7
Ireland

Tel. + 353 1 799 4504
Walter Jayawardene Mob: +353 87 998 15 74
Stephen O’Hare Mob: + 353 85 711 26 35

E-mail: info@iccl.ie, walter.jayawardene@iccl.ie

Note to Editors:

The 58-page Report of the Expert Group on the Judgment in A, B and C v Ireland is available here; http://www.dohc.ie/publications/pdf/Judgment_ABC.pdf

The judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of A, B  and C v Ireland (Application no. 25579/05; Grand Chamber Judgment of 16 December 2010) is available here: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-102332


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