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Watchdog Slams Creighton’s “Intransigence” on Euro Court Judgment

Watchdog Slams Creighton’s “Intransigence” on Euro Court Judgment

Friday, 5 October 2012

Press Release – for immediate release

A new report to the 47-nation Council of Europe criticises the “political intransigence” of Minister of State with Special Responsibility for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton TD, regarding the implementation of a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights.

The criticism, which comes in a submission by the Irish Council of Civil Liberties (ICCL) to the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, relates to the Government’s failure to implement the Strasbourg Court’s 2010 judgment in the case of A, B and C against Ireland.  This legally-binding judgment requires that the law on abortion in Ireland be clarified and the Government has established an expert group to advise it on how this should be done.  The expert group’s report is now overdue.

The ICCL’s submission, which has been published in full on the Council of Europe’s website, refers to Cardinal Seán Brady’s recent declaration that Dáil Deputies and Ministers will be “lobbied” by bishops and priests as part of a full-scale campaign of opposition if there is “any attempt” by the Government to legislate for abortion.  The Council notes that, “regrettably, it appears that a segment of the political class (including within the Government’s junior ranks) may be susceptible to a political campaign on this issue by the Church.”

Lucinda Creighton TD is singled out for special attention given her recent remarks that resolving the abortion issue “should not be a priority for this Government” and that her “preference would be just not to deal with this issue right now”.

Commenting on the submission, ICCL Director Mr Mark Kelly said:

“We wish the Committee of Ministers to be fully aware of the background of religious conservatism and political intransigence into which the report of the expert group on the implementation of this important judgment will be released.  As Ireland approaches its Presidency of the European Union, it is unconscionable for the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for European Affairs to imply that the implementation of a judgment of Europe’s Supreme Court is anything less than an urgent priority for the Government”.

“Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights against Ireland are legally-binding and must be implemented in a speedy and effective way.  The ICCL is calling upon the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to unequivocally remind the Government of this fact”, Mr Kelly added.

For further information, please contact:

Joanne Garvey
Administrator
Irish Council for Civil Liberties
9 - 13 Blackhall Place
Dublin 7
Phone: 01 7994504
Fax: 01 7994512
email: joanne.garvey@iccl.ie / info@iccl.ie
 
NOTE TO EDITORS:

The ICCL’s October 2012 submission has been made available to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe under Rule 9.2 of the Committee’s Rules for the supervision of the execution of judgments and of the terms of friendly settlements.

The ICCL’s full submission (Council of Europe document number: DH-DD(2012)882) has been published on the Council of Europe website and is available to view here: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/execution/Themes/Add_info/IRL-ai_en.asp

In its judgment in the case of A, B and C v Ireland, the European Court of Human Rights found “that the authorities failed to comply with their positive obligation to secure to the third applicant effective respect for her private life by reason of the absence of any implementing legislative or regulatory regime providing an accessible and effective procedure by which the third applicant could have established whether she qualified for a lawful abortion in Ireland in accordance with Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution.”

The comments attributed to the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton TD, first appeared in an interview that she gave to the Irish Times newspaper on 4 September 2012, which is available at this link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0904/1224323575035.html

ENDS


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