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Updated at 7:29 pm on 4 August 2009
The High Court has declined to make orders regarding the work of the Abortion Supervisory Committee, despite an earlier finding that the committee has not complied with the abortion law.
The orders were sought by anti-abortion group Right to Life New Zealand, which took the action against the committee.
In a decision last year, Justice Miller found the committee had failed over many years to exercise its statutory powers, resulting in less rigorous supervision of certifying consultants than the law intended.
He left open the question of whether he should make any orders regarding the work of the Abortion Supervisory Committee, and Right to Life returned to court this year to seek such orders.
In a judgement issued on Tuesday, Justice Miller says now its functions have been clarified, the committee can be expected to administer the law as Parliament intended, without formal orders.
Justice Miller says if he made orders, it could also place added workload pressure on the committee.
Kenn Orr, of Right to Life, says he is disappointed at the court's decision but is pleased the case led to a finding that the committee has not complied with the abortion law in the past.
However, Mr Orr says the committee can now ask certifying consultants to explain the pattern of their abortion authorisations. He says that is important, given the court raised concerns about the lawfulness of many abortions carried out on mental health grounds.
Copyright © 2009, Radio New Zealand
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