In a major ruling, the High Court has determined that the Abortion Supervisory Committee has failed in its statutory duties overseeing abortion providers.
Justice Miller, in a 58 page judgement released today Download abortionruling.pdf , goes into great detail, but the most important paragraphs are these:
"There is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants. Indeed, the Committee itself has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended.Wall v Livingston means it may not review or scrutinise the decisions of certifying consultants. I find that it may do so, using its power to require consultants to keep records and report on cases they have considered, for the purpose of performing its statutory functions. Those functions include keeping under review all the provisions of the abortion law, as defined, and their operation and effect in practice, reporting to Parliament on the operation of the abortion law, keeping the procedure for authorising abortions under review, ensuring the administration of the abortion law is consistent throughout New Zealand, and appointing and removing consultants. The Committee may form its own opinion about the lawfulness of consultants’ decisions to the extent necessary to perform these functions.
d) The Committee has misinterpreted its functions and powers under the abortion law, reasoning incorrectly that