£100k spent to date by Justice Dept on abortion court cases

Clare Bailey MLA has spoken of her disappointment that over £100,000 of public money has been spent on the ongoing Justice Department legal proceedings surrounding termination of pregnancy in Northern Ireland.

The amount spent in the High Court and Court of Appeal was uncovered in a question to the Justice Minister.

Clare Bailey MLA said,

“I am disappointed that over £100,000 of public money has been squandered on this unnecessary court case, which was started by the previous Justice Minister.

“The High Court has ruled that our abortion laws are not compliant with human rights legislation and it is a disgrace that, instead of making our laws compliant, the ruling was appealed.

“It is a reality that women from Northern Ireland are having abortions, with 833 women from Northern Ireland having travelled to England in 2015 to access healthcare that is denied to them here.

“I trust women. I will be working to ensure that women are not criminalised when accessing healthcare, including safe, legal abortions, when they need it.”


Notes to editors


AQW 2362/16-21
Ms Clare Bailey
(GPNI – South Belfast) To ask the Minister of Justice what is the cost to date to her Department of the legal proceedings in the (i) High Court; and (ii) Court of Appeal as a result of the case brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in the matter of the law on termination of pregnancy in Northern Ireland. [Priority Written]

To date, legal fees of £37,170 have been charged to the Department in respect of the High Court proceedings and £38,556 for the Appeal Court. The Northern Ireland Courts & Tribunals Service estimates that the proceedings have cost approximately £24,551 in staff and judicial salaries and a further £1940 for facilities.

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