SEPTEMBER 2016

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Irish High Court judge has ruled that the unborn child has ‘rights’


An Irish High Court judge has made a landmark ruling that where the Constitution refers to the ‘unborn’ it refers to the unborn child, who therefore has ‘significant’ rights like any other child. The ruling was made in the context of a contested deportation order of a Nigerian man, who had conceived a child with an Irish woman and was arguing that the deportation be judicially reviewed, to allow his unborn child the right to be born in Ireland. Initially reported in the Irish Times @, Niamh Li Bhriain of the Life Institute remarks, “This is an important ruling which provides useful clarity at a time when the media and abortion campaigners are arguing that preborn children should be denied even the most fundamental right – the right to life […] Mr Justice Humphreys has ruled that preborn children not only have a right to life, but that the State is obliged to ensure that all the rights accruing to every child are upheld for children before birth.”@ Similarly, Patrick Buckley – SPUC’s Ireland officer – suggests, “the ruling is particularly significant because it says those rights are effective before – and not just after – birth…[it]…could have implications for other common-law jurisdictions as well as the Council of Europe.”  @