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Abortion Case Gets Green Light for High Court Hearing

0 comments | 1:25 am | top |
The Right to Life NZ blog reports,

The High Court in Wellington has advised that a hearing has been set down for Monday, 20 July 2009 before Justice Miller. Right to Life will seek at this hearing to have Justice Miller issue clear declarations to the Abortion Supervisory Committee [ASC] setting out the statutory powers and duties of the ASC. These declaratory orders have the effect of declaring the law and the way in which it should be applied as set out in the fuller reasons given by Justice Miller in his judgment.

The declaratory orders should have been given in the June 2008 High Court Case. However with this technicality out of the way, the ASC will be able to again appeal against Justice Miller's 2008 ruling at the Court of Appeal. Justice Miller's ruling in 2008 contained the following statements which threw the ASC - and indeed the entire anti-life lobby in New Zealand, into such a panic...

“There is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants. Indeed, the [Abortion Supervisory] Committee itself has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended...

...The [Abortion Supervisory Committee] has misinterpreted its functions and powers under the abortion law, reasoning incorrectly that Wall v Livingston means it may not review or scrutinise the decisions of certifying consultants.”

Right to Life will also make an cross-appeal at the Court of Appeal hearing, "challenging Justice Miller’s findings in his judgment that there was no basis in law for declaring that unborn children were legal persons with human rights under the law". Right to Life's cross-appeal is important, yet an unrelated and secondary issue to the crux of the case, which is Justice Miller's ruling that the ASC has indeed been allowing many illegal abortions to take place in New Zealand.

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