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Ethics – Abortion case fees

September 2017

Pro-life campaigner Aisling Hubert has had a claim filed with the European Court of Human Rights against the prohibitive costs she suffered, as a result of her private prosecution.

As mentioned in previous editions of Evangelical Times, Miss Hubert launched a private prosecution against two doctors who had verbally agreed to perform ‘gender-abortions’, in breach of the Abortion Act 1967. The admissions were made on video during a Daily Telegraph undercover report about ‘gender-abortion’ in the United Kingdom, in 2012.

But while the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) admitted that evidence did exist to bring a case against the two doctors, it decided it was not in the public interest to prosecute.

However, Miss Hubert, who was in her early 20s, exercised her fundamental right to pursue a public prosecution, believing it was incumbent on her to defend the plight of unborn baby girls.

She lost her case and was ordered to pay excessive charges of £47,000, which have been met by donations from Christians in the UK. Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) which is supporting Miss Hubert, commented: ‘When the CPS refused to prosecute, it was not because there was no evidence to convict, but because of political and policy reasons. Justice was not done here, and, instead, Miss Hubert, who acted upon the injustice she had witnessed, was punished.

‘We argue in our application to the Strasbourg court that the statute governing private prosecutions is clear. Costs from Ms Hubert’s case should have been drawn from the central fund, which was created for cases exactly like hers.

‘In filing this case to the European Court, we aim to protect others like her who wish to access justice and to seek private prosecutions, which provides important checks and balances’.

Ms Williams said the CLC was also seeking to ensure that no courts in the future will punish an applicant simply for seeking to defend preborn children — the most vulnerable members of our society — and wanting to stop a serious wrong from being perpetrated, in breach of the law.