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28 / 08 / 2009 - Cóir position paper explains threat to pro-life laws from Lisbon
The pro-sovereignty organization, Cóir, has released a position paper which details the threat to Ireland's pro-life laws from the Lisbon Treaty. It explains that the much-trumpeted “guarantees” on issues such as abortion, taxation and defence are little more than political promises since they are not binding in EU law.
The paper states:
Research has shown that abortion and other ethical issues, such as euthanasia and family law, were of serious concern to voters who rejected the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish Government has sought assurances on these issues from the EU Council and has promised that the EU will allow a protocol on abortion to be attached to a future treaty at some future date.
But the assurances given by the EU Council are not legally binding in EU law, because they are not part of any treaty. They are simply political promises. As High Court Judge and Chairman of the Referendum Commission, Frank Clarke has confirmed, they won’t change the Lisbon Treaty.
If a protocol on abortion is obtained at a future date (although no-one knows at this point what it will actually say), it is unlikely that, if the Lisbon Treaty is passed, such a protocol would stand against a legal challenge. This is because the power of the European Court of Justice to decide on human rights issues, such as abortion, will be vastly increased by the Charter of Rights attached to the Lisbon Treaty.
This is the core of the problem. Any protocol on the right to life (or on family law) can come into conflict with the Charter – and the European Court of Justice can use the Charter to overrule a conflicting protocol and impose abortion on the Irish people. In other words, the matter will still be in the hands of the European Court of Justice if Lisbon is passed.
Not a dot or comma of the Lisbon Treaty has been changed by these assurances – it’s still the same bad treaty we rejected in June 2008. Neither will any reference be made to assurances in the amendment to be put to the people on October 2nd.
To read the paper in full go here