The UK Supreme Court Gives a Ray of Hope to all Women Seeking Change in NI Abortion Law

Team SoOLEGAL 8 Jun 2018 3:00pm

The UK Supreme Court Gives a Ray of Hope to all Women Seeking Change in NI Abortion Law

Even though, the UK Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal seeking change in the current Northern Ireland's strict abortion law, but its disapproval over the law seems to have given hope to abortion rights activists seeking to reform NI abortion law.

Abortion rights activists believe that the court’s ruling on the law's incompatibility will likely put pressure on the British government to take necessary actions.

The SC ruling came while hearing an appeal filed by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), who argued that the existing NI abortion law subjects women and girls to "inhuman and degrading" treatment, and causing them "physical and mental torture," which is in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

NIHRC further argued that the law needs to be reformed, allowing abortions in cases of foetal abnormalities or where pregnancies were the result of rape or incest.

The appeal was heard by a 7-judge panel, who agreed that the North’s current law was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, but ruled that it did not have the authority to make a formal declaration that the law should be changed.

"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.

Tagged: UK Supreme Court   Northern Ireland Abortion Law   NIHRC   ECHR  
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