The UN and the Eighth Amendment

 

A chara, – It is suggested by agroup of lawyers and other legal professionals who co-signed a letter to these pages that we must, in order to be compliant with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, accept the finding of the UN Human Rights Committee and amend our abortion laws (June 23rd).

However, as the signatories note, the UN committee is not a court of law. Its function is to assess Ireland’s compliance with the covenant as it is written, not to interpret the covenant in such as way as to apply a particular article of it to a situation for which it was not intended. When it attempts to do so it acts outside its authority and its findings are not and can not be binding.

This is the opinion of our Taoiseach, based on the legal advice taken from those whose primary concern is the best interests of this nation rather than advancing some particular agenda or another. These legal experts, I would suggest, should see the bigger picture here – the importance of asserting Ireland’s sovereignty and our right as a people to make our own decisions democratically. – Is mise,

Rev PATRICK G BURKE,

Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny.