TheJournal.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more »
Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 26 April, 2018
Advertisement

President Higgins to convene Council of State over abortion bill

Áras an Uachtaráin has said that a meeting will be held next Monday where members of the Council and the President will consider the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Update 9.05pm

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D HIGGINS is to convene a meeting of the Council of State, under Article 26 of the Constitution, to be held at Áras an Uachtaráin next Monday, his office has said this evening.

Áras an Uachtaráin has said that a meeting will be held next Monday, 29 July at 2.30pm where members of the Council and the President will consider the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 following its passing by the Dáil and Seanad.

The President must decide whether to sign the bill into law or refer it to the Supreme Court which would have the final say on the constitutionality of the legislation. If it is ruled constitutional it can never be challenged again.

President Higgins must make a decision either to refer the bill to the courts or sign it into law by next Wednesday. If the bill goes to the Supreme Court court, a ruling must be made no later than 60 days after the reference date.

The Council of State is made up of the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, the Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil, the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the President of the High Court and the Attorney General.

Former office holders including all surviving former taoisigh, former presidents and former chief justices also serve on the Council and there are also seven of the president’s own nominees.

This is the first time that Higgins has convened the Council of State since he assumed office in November 2011. There have been 28 meetings of the Council since 1940.

Article 26.1.1 of the Constitution states:

‘The President may, after consultation with the Council of State, refer any Bill to which this Article applies to the Supreme Court for a decision on the question as to whether such Bill or any specified provision or provisions of such Bills is or are repugnant to this Constitution or to any provision thereof.’

First published 8.49pm

Read: More abortion legislation? Not from this government, says Shatter

Read: Over to you Mr President: Seanad passes abortion bill

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next:

COMMENTS (242)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

Leave a commentcancel

Trending Tags