The full Court of Appeal on Tuesday 12 May 2009, dismissed the appeal of the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) against several matters in the judgment of Justice Miller given in the High Court in June last year. The Court ruled that as the High Court had not made declaratory orders, the appeal was outside the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal. It was requested that an application now be made by Right to Life and the appellant, for a hearing in the High Court before Justice Miller at which arguments would be presented on the form of the declaratory orders. Right to Life’s counsel has consulted with the Crown counsel Ms Cheryl Gwyn who has agreed to make a joint application to the High Court for this hearing to take place at an early date. Both parties to this action are desirous of having the issue of declaratory orders resolved promptly. The original case that was heard at a two day hearing in April in the High Court will not be re-heard, the judgment made on that hearing by Justice Miller stands.
Right to Life will at this hearing seek to have Justice Miller issue clear declarations to the Abortion Supervisory Committee requesting that they fulfil their statutory duty to hold certifying consultants accountable for the lawfulness of the abortions that they authorise and in this way restrain the de facto abortion on demand at present under the CSA Act. 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.
Following the issue of such orders the ASC may reinstate its existing appeal to the Court of Appeal and could also appeal against the way in which the declaratory orders are framed. Right to Life would be able to reinstate its cross appeal challenging Justice Miller’s findings in his judgment that there was no basis in law for declaring that unborn children were legal persons with rights under the law, including the New Zealand Bill of Rights Section 8, that no persons should be deprived of life. That section states, “No one shall be deprived of life except on such grounds as are established by law and are consistent with the principles of fundamental justice.” The second matter in the cross appeal will be the issue of the independence of abortion counselling from abortion providers.
Right to Life is most grateful to the many people throughout New Zealand who have been praying for God’s blessing on these important proceedings. Please continue to pray for God’s blessing on these proceedings. May God bless you for your generosity. We would encourage you to continue with your prayer support as we address the very important issue of declaratory orders. It is hoped that an early fixture will be granted for a hearing in the High Court within the next 6 weeks. It might then be possible that an appeal could be heard in the Court of Appeal in a two day sitting before the end of this year.
These proceedings commenced in May 2005 with the ASC seeking to have Right to Life’s case struck out in the High Court. Right to Life is totally committed to pursuing this action in the Court to provide for the full protection of the law for the lives of God’s precious infants and protection for the health and welfare of their mothers.
Right to Life New Zealand Inc.