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Thread: Bar Council of Ireland fail to attend abortion hearing

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    Politics.ie Member ger12's Avatar
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    Default Bar Council of Ireland fail to attend abortion hearing

    The Bar Council of Ireland, scheduled to appear before the Oireachtas Health Committee on the abortion issue today, pulled out saying it could not adequately represent the diverse opinion of its members.

    Do you think it odd, considering how many of the academics today appeared to agree on many points in the hearings, that there is such diverse opinion in the Law Library (TCD professor William Binchy the dissenting voice I thought at today's hearing). Opinion was given from Jennifer Schweppe from the University of Limerick, Ciara Staunton of the law school at NUI Galway, Dr Simon Mills from the Law Library (who proposed his own legislation), TCD professor William Binchy and former Supreme Court justice Catherine McGuinness.

    I also thought it interesting and concerning that a question I've raised before here was asked and dismissed as not having relevance to today's hearing by one of the academic experts (that is if a foetus were to survive in the event of a late termination, would it then e.g. be in the care of the State?).

    Would it have more prudent of government to have invited and involved, for example, former Attornies General or leading Senior Counsel (with constitutional practices) in an effort to ensure there was open and all inclusive discussion of this issue?
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

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    Politics.ie Member Goa Tse's Avatar
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    Maybe they thought it would be ok if they pulled out . . .
    'I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes.' - Kurt Cobain

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    Politics.ie Member LamportsEdge's Avatar
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    The rhythm method in political lobbying. Actually I'm surprised there IS a 'Bar Council'- I thought Kings Inn used to do all the stringpulling there.

    Weird that the Bar Council should assume that it is their job to say nothing if as they imply their members are split 50-50 on this- ever stranger that the Bar Council of all people don't appear to understand that two referendums have been heard and a Supreme Court deliberation and that they can't offer any thoughts.

    Very Irish.
    Whenever understanding exists, accepting or rejecting is unnecessary. (Fundamentals of a Gnostic Education).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ger12 View Post
    I also thought it interesting and concerning that a question I've raised before here was asked and dismissed as not having relevance to today's hearing by one of the academic experts (that is if a foetus were to survive in the event of a late termination, would it then e.g. be in the care of the State?)
    I saw this question being asked, but I'm confused: why is this even an issue? In 99% of such cases an infant would have a surviving parent, and in the remainder it would be an orphan in the same way as any child whose mother dies in childbirth, and the child would be taken in to care.

    So what's the big mystery exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by ger12 View Post
    Would it have more prudent of government to have invited and involved, for example, former Attornies General or leading Senior Counsel (with constitutional practices) in an effort to ensure there was open and all inclusive discussion of this issue?
    It seems that the witnesses were picked solely by its Chairman (Jerry Buttimer) and the clerk of the committee. The Government had nothing to do with it. This obviously led to the ridiculous situation where there was no independent eminent advice given today.

    Binchy and McGuinness are obviously very eminent, but are hardly unbiased on the issue.
    Schweppe, Staunton and Mills are legal minnows. (Although Mill was quite impressive today).

    So in essence, the Health Committee hearings have heard NO independent legal advice from constitutional heavyweight lawyers on this issue. That is a spectacular blunder on the part of Buttimer and the clerk of the committee.

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    Politics.ie Member LamportsEdge's Avatar
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    Well as I have said the Supreme Court deliberation is a bit of a clue to the sum of the law on the issue so it would seem a bit of an arse to have barristers musing away at this hearing and saying something else entirely than what the Supreme Court have taken into account.

    It doesn't explain either why the Bar Council couldn't send someone along to explain the legal position- which includes the known Supreme Court ruling. Maybe they've misplaced the file. That happens a lot.
    Whenever understanding exists, accepting or rejecting is unnecessary. (Fundamentals of a Gnostic Education).

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    Politics.ie Member ger12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Tubbs View Post
    I saw this question being asked, but I'm confused: why is this even an issue? In 99% of such cases an infant would have a surviving parent, and in the remainder it would be an orphan in the same way as any child whose mother dies in childbirth, and the child would be taken in to care.

    So what's the big mystery exactly?



    It seems that the witnesses were picked solely by its Chairman (Jerry Buttimer) and the clerk of the committee. The Government had nothing to do with it. This obviously led to the ridiculous situation where there was no independent eminent advice given today.

    Binchy and McGuinness are obviously very eminent, but are hardly unbiased on the issue.
    Schweppe, Staunton and Mills are legal minnows. (Although Mill was quite impressive today).

    So in essence, the Health Committee hearings have heard NO independent legal advice from constitutional heavyweight lawyers on this issue. That is a spectacular blunder on the part of Buttimer and the clerk of the committee.
    I felt that there was indeed no independent eminent advice given today. While I agree Binchy and McGuinness are very eminent, but are hardly unbiased on the issue, I thought their contributions were valuable.

    I'm not impressed with the panel today and shocked that the witnesses were picked solely by the Chairman.

    Re: if the foetus were to survive in the event of a late termination, I would like to see that explored. The expert group on abortion have suggested that terminations 'at the fringes of viability' even where survival is not anticipated, should take place in centres which have neonatal intensive care units, and be carried out at such a time and manner as to maximise the foetal chances of survival.
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

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    Quote Originally Posted by ger12 View Post
    I'm not impressed with the panel today and shocked that the witnesses were picked solely by the Chairman.
    Here's what happened yesterday morning at the opening of proceedings when an attempt was made to find out exactly how the witnesses were chosen:

    Deputy Terence Flanagan: Has the committee signed off on the witnesses who were selected to come before it this week?

    Chairman: Yes. The Chair was given plenary powers in advance of last night's meeting.

    Senator Paul Bradford: I thank the Chairman for his inclusive introduction to the meeting. Will he give us some background as to how the various groups were selected to make oral presentations? My understanding is that interested parties, including some who will not appear before us this week, have by now-----

    Chairman: I apologise for interrupting, Senator. To clarify, the committee has signed off on the witness list and we are moving on now to take opening statements.

    Senator Paul Bradford: Will the Chairman indicate how that decision was arrived at?

    Chairman: I cannot do so at this time. The matter has been agreed by the committee.
    In other words, "we're starting now, so please shut up".

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    Politics.ie Member ger12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Tubbs View Post
    Here's what happened yesterday morning at the opening of proceedings when an attempt was made to find out exactly how the witnesses were chosen:



    In other words, "we're starting now, so please shut up".
    Bit mad (and very concerning). So this is real politics in action.
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

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    Why is anyone surprised?

    Divided opinions among determiners of what is subjectively legal surrounding the division of protection for that which is objectively indivisible.

    They would have opened themselves up to all sorts of legal actions down the road when Kenny's suicide clause heralds in liberal abortion, which of course cannot be defended either in the civic, moral or legal realm.

    And well they know it!

    This will blow up in the Government's face yet.
    Heaven and Earth Meet in the Human Heart!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ger12 View Post
    So this is real politics in action.
    Not necessarily, but it is our Parliament in action. It does prove that the Government's claims that it has reformed the Committee system is totally laughable.

    Although I can't help that if a better and more independent-minded parliamentarian had been chairing it (Billy Timmins, John Crown) then we might have gotten a more worthwhile exercise.

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