Northern Ireland abortion law a breach of human rights commitments rules Belfast court

Pro-life protesters pictured outside the High Court in Belfast earlier this week. (Photo: Pacemaker)
Pro-life protesters pictured outside the High Court in Belfast earlier this week. (Photo: Pacemaker)
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Northern Ireland's strict abortion law breaches the UK's human rights commitments, the High Court in Belfast has ruled.

Mrs Justice Siobhan Keegan said Sarah Ewart, who took the case, was a victim.

"Her personal testimony is compelling," she said.

The judge said she would follow a previous Supreme Court ruling on the issue.

"The decision on the substantive capabilities issue was intended to have persuasive effect," she added.

The judge followed the ruling of the Supreme Court that abortion law in Northern Ireland was incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

She said Ms Ewart had legal standing to challenge the law.

The judge will hear further submissions before deciding what action to take.

She said Ms Ewart had been affected by the current law.

The judge said: "She has had to modify her behaviour in that she could not have medical treatment in Northern Ireland due to the risk of criminal prosecution.

"She may be actively affected in the future.

"In my view her personal testimony is not disputed."