Tag Archives: politics

Legislate for X Action, a reply from Leo Varadkar T.D.

06/11/2012 15:44, Minister Varadkar Constituency wrote:

6th November 2012

Dear Ms [Sharrow]
Thank you for taking the time to contact me. You can be sure that I will take your views into account.

As committed to in the Programme for Government, an Expert Group, drawing on appropriate medical and legal expertise, was established in January to study the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the ABC v. Ireland case. In that judgement, the European Court held that the Irish State had failed to legislate to implement existing rights to lawful abortion when a mother’s life is at risk.

Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution states that: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. “

The interpretation of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution arose in the “X case” in 1992. A majority of the members of the Supreme Court of Ireland held that, if it were established, as a matter of probability, that there was a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health, of the mother and that this real and substantial risk could only be averted by the termination of her pregnancy, such a termination was lawful.

The judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C v Ireland case confirmed that Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution is in conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the Court ruled that “no criteria or procedures have been… laid down in Irish law… by which that risk is to be measured or determined, leading to uncertainty…” and held that further legal clarity was required.

In order to address the judgment, and to fulfil a commitment included in the Programme for Government, the Government established an Expert Group, drawing on appropriate medical and legal expertise, with a view to making recommendations on how this matter should be properly addressed.

The Expert Group, Chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, will report in September with recommendations on a series of options on how to implement the judgment taking into account the constitutional, legal, medical, and ethical considerations involved in the formulation of public policy in this area and the over-riding need for expeditious action in light of the ECtHR judgement.

The Government believes that this is the appropriate forum in which to examine this complex and sensitive matter.

When the Group finalises its report later this year the Government will then decide how to proceed.

Best wishes,
Leo Varadkar T.D.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport

Anyone spot that?

The Expert Group, Chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, will report in September

Ok this is either an old stock reply, as it is now November or else the expert group is not reporting back until September 2013 which is far from expeditious. I have written back asking for clarity on this.

Still no reply from Joan Burton or Patrick Nulty.

IF you have still not Emailed your own TDs you can do, in one go here:
http://www.nwci.ie/takeaction/

Legislate for X Action, reply from Joe Higgins office.

On 02/11/2012 17:20, Joe Higgins wrote:
Dear [Sharrow],

Many thanks for getting in touch in relation to this important issue. Myself and my colleagues in the United Left Alliance have been to the fore in pushing for legislation for the X-case. We will continue to pressure the Government to introduce this long overdue legislation. We will continue to raise this issue in the Dail if there is continued delaying tactics in relation to the report of the expert group.
Kind Regards,

Jimmy Dignam
Dail Assistant to Joe Higgins TD
01-6183370
joe.higgins@oir.ie

I got a wonderfully prompt reply, still waiting on replies from Joan burton and Patrick Nulty. I am going to email them again.

Wording for the Childern’s Rights Referedum released.

So finally the date has been set, November 10th, a Saturday, and the wording has been announced.

http://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=2334&ad=1

Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution

PROPOSED NEW ARTICLE 42A

Children

The State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.

1° In exceptional cases, where the parents, regardless of their marital status, fail in their duty towards their children to such extent that the safety or welfare of any of their children is likely to be prejudicially affected, the State as guardian of the common good shall, by proportionate means as provided by law, endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.

2° Provision shall be made by law for the adoption of any child where the parents have failed for such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their duty towards the child and where the best interests of the child so require.

Provision shall be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of any child.

1° Provision shall be made by law that in the resolution of all proceedings –

i brought by the State, as guardian of the common good, for the purpose of preventing the safety and welfare of any child from being prejudicially affected, or

ii concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child,
the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

2° Provision shall be made by law for securing, as far as practicable, that in all proceedings referred to in subsection 1° of this section in respect of any child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the views of the child shall be ascertained and given due weight having regard to the age and maturity of the child

What does this mean?

It means that we are one step closer to being in line with the United Nations Convention of the rights of the child, which was written in 1989 and which we as a sovereign state signed up to in
1990 and ratified in 1992. The rights referred to in the amendment are those listed by in the
UN Convention of the rights of the child which are pretty extensive and you can read through it here.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/UN_Convention_on_the_Rights_of_the_Child

This referendum and the tackling of the imbalance of the patronage system of schools are part of what has been needed to be done for the last 20 years but previous governments have failed to do them.

So make sure that you can vote by checking http://checktheregister.ie/ and remember that this referendum is on a Saturday November 10th, so no day of school for the kids and hopefully we will have a good turn out.