Tuesday 8 March 2022
This is an application for permission to appeal the Order of Singh LJ and Lieven J (23/9/21) that dismissed the claim for judicial review.
The Appellants sought a declaration of incompatibility under section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in respect of section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967. They contend that section 1(1)(d) is incompatible with Articles 2, 3, 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which are all “Convention rights” as set out in Sch. 1 to the HRA.
The essence of the claim was that it is impermissible to differentiate, as the 1967 Act does, between pregnancies where there is a substantial risk that, if born, a child would be “seriously handicapped” (the terminology used in that Act) and those where it would not. The Appellants focus on cases of Down’s Syndrome but accept that their arguments would apply to any case where there had been found to be a risk of “serious handicap”.