Monday, June 9, 2008

European Centre for Law and Justice

The European Centre for Law and Justice has published a Legal Analysis of Special Provisions of the Lisbon Treaty ahead of Thursday’s Irish referendum. It makes the point that the Irish people are in the uniquely privileged position of being allowed to vote on whether our country signs up to a treaty that will ‘radically change the nature of the European Union, the rights and duties of citizens of all other EU Member States.’ This analysis raises a number of highly important points about the possible consequences of a Yes vote, particularly in the field of social policy.

Most significant for pro-life campaigners is the incorporation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in Article Six as binding law. As the analysis states, this ‘appears to create the potential for new “rights” and could create considerable confusion as to interpretation of human rights in Europe.’ I am all too aware, working at the UN, of the way the abortion lobby manipulates human rights to promote their own agenda. It is by no means improbable that future legislation or court decisions could overrule Ireland’s protection of the unborn. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has already passed a resolution calling for the decriminalization of abortion across the EU.

The Irish Constitution protects marriage and the family, describing the family as “the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society”. The prohibition of ‘discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation’ within the Charter of Fundamental Rights may well be used to challenge the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.