ICCL welcomes Decision of UN Human Rights Committee in Whelan v Ireland

ICCL welcomes UN Human Rights Committee finding against Ireland in Abortion Case

Dublin 13th June 2017

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties today welcomed the ruling of the UN Human Rights Committee in the case of Whelan v. Ireland. The ruling, made available today, finds that the effect of Ireland’s abortion laws was to subject a woman to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and violated her rights to privacy and to non-discrimination, in circumstances where her pregnancy was identified as involving fatal foetal impairment.

This ruling follows a similar decision last year by the UN Human Rights Committee in the case Mellet v. Ireland in 2016.  Speaking today, ICCL Executive Director, Liam Herrick said,

“Cases where the UN Human Rights Committee finds violations of human rights are rare and are highly significant at an international level. We have now a further authoritative adjudication by a leading UN body that Irish abortion law is incompatible with human rights standards.

The link between Irish law and violations of women’s human rights was a key message which ICCL and others conveyed to the Citizens Assembly during its recent deliberations, and the recommendations of the Assembly demonstrate the importance which the members attached to respecting women's human rights. The people of Ireland must now be given the opportunity to ensure that this egregious situation comes to an end through a referendum to repeal Article 40.3.3.”

This decision will increase international pressure on Ireland to reform its abortion laws. Mr. Herrick went on to say:

“This case is yet another reminder that Irish women and their families still have to resort to legal processes to assert their basic rights. Ms Whelan and her husband deserve immense credit for the courage and determination they have shown to proceed with this case and to tell their harrowing story in public; but we must ensure that Irish women and girls should not have to take this difficult road to achieve their basic human rights.”

Ends/

Notes for Editor:

The Decision on the case of Whelan v Ireland is available at the UN Human Rights Committee Website http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/IRL/CCPR_C_119_D_2425_2014_25970_E.pdf

ICCL’s submission to the Citizens Assembly, which sets out the human rights standards which apply to the issue of abortion in Ireland, is available here http://www.iccl.ie/ccl-submission-to-the-citizens-assembly-on-the-eighth-amendment-to-the-constitution.html

For more information, please contact Liam Herrick, Executive Director ICCL at 087-2351374 or liam.herrick@iccl.ie


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