Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Article 26

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.

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

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
242
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.