Council of Europe closes case against Ireland on abortion

New abortion legislation in Ireland rectifies human rights violation, council says

In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights found the Irish State was in breach of the Convention on Human Rights, following a case taken by three Irish women, known as ‘A’ ‘B’ and ‘C’.

In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights found the Irish State was in breach of the Convention on Human Rights, following a case taken by three Irish women, known as ‘A’ ‘B’ and ‘C’.

 

The Council of Europe has closed its examination of Ireland’s implementation of the European Court of Human Rights ruling on the controversial A, B and C v Ireland judgment on abortion, noting the Government has given effect to the ruling by introducing the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act.

In a decision taken by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on Thursday in Strasbourg, the 47-member body decided to close the case against Ireland, stating the government had introduced new abortion legislation through the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act, and had paid damages awarded to the applicant amounting to €15,000.

In December 2010, the European Court of Human Rights found the Irish State was in breach of the Convention on Human Rights, following a case taken by three Irish women, known as ‘A’ ‘B’ and ‘C’.

The court found there had been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights in relation to applicant ‘C’.

The applicant had become unintentionally pregnant while being treated for cancer, but was unable to find a doctor willing to determine whether her life would be at risk if she continued to full term.

She travelled to England for an abortion.

The Court found Ireland had rectified the violation of the Human Rights convention that had been found.

The written decision recalls that the original judgment had found there to be an “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”.

It notes such a procedure was put in place “with the entry into force of the ‘Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act 2013’ and of the related regulations and guidance document.”

The decision to close the case against Ireland ends one of the most high-profile outstanding judgments of the Court in recent years.

The Committee of Ministers - which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights - meets about four times a year to consider outstanding judgments.

The Council of Europe is responsible for enforcing the European Convention on Human Rights.

Ireland is a founding member of the body.