Supreme Court to deliver judgment on Human Rights Commission’s case

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Supreme Court to deliver judgment on Human Rights Commission’s case


The UK Supreme Court has announced that it will deliver judgment in the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission’s case on Thursday 7 June 2018.

From 2013, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has continually sought a change to the law to allow termination of pregnancies in Northern Ireland in cases of serious malformation of the foetus or pregnancy as a result of rape or incest.

Chief Commissioner Les Allamby commented:

“We look forward to receiving the Supreme Court Judgment next week. In Northern Ireland, if a girl or woman is pregnant as a consequence of rape, incest or has a pregnancy with a serious foetal abnormality, they cannot access a termination locally. If they attempt to do so, then they commit a criminal offence and may face life in prison. We believe this situation is wrong and that it violates their human rights.”


ENDS


For further information, please contact Claire Martin on: claire.martin@nihrc.org or (028) 90269760 or on 07717731873.

Notes to Editors

1. The judgment will be delivered at 9.45am in Court Room one in London. You can watch live at https://www.supremecourt.uk/live/court-01.html

KEY FACTS:

• From 2013 the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has continued to seek a change to the law to allow termination of pregnancies in Northern Ireland in cases of serious malformation of the foetus or pregnancy as a result of rape or incest.

• Recognising how difficult it would be for a woman or girl to challenge the law in the circumstances covered by the case, the Commission took the case in its own name.

• In the Commission’s view the existing law in Northern Ireland violates the human rights of women and girls.

• Termination of pregnancy is only available in Northern Ireland if it is necessary to preserve the life of a woman; including where there is a risk of a serious and adverse effect on her physical or mental health which is either long term or permanent. The punishment is life imprisonment for anyone who unlawfully procures or performs a termination.

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Parties in the Appeal

Appellants: Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Respondent(s)

1. Northern Ireland Department of Justice

2. Attorney General for Northern Ireland

Justices who heard the Appeal

Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones.

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Interveners

1. United Nations Human Rights Council, Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice;

2. Humanists UK;

3. ADF International, Christian Action, Research and Education & Professor Patricia Casey;

4. Amnesty International & Sarah Ewart;

5. Centre for Reproductive Rights;

6. Family Planning Association, British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Abortion Support Network, Birthrights, Royal College of Midwives, Alliance for Choice & Antenatal Results and Choices

7. JR76;

8. Northern Bishops;

9. Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

10. Equality and Human Rights Commission.of Incompatibility under section 4 HRA, other than in respect of an identified unlawful act or acts.

Supreme Court to deliver judgment on Human Rights Commission’s case

INTERVIEW REQUESTS: CONTACT CLAIRE MARTIN ON 07717731873.

INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE WITH: LES ALLAMBY, CHIEF COMMISSIONER OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION.


31 May 2018