Sunday, December 14, 2008

HFEA challenged for illegal actions

Update: the case against the HFEA has been thrown out: see here.

Briefing (09/09/08)

From CFNews: On the 8th of April 2008, the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) and Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE) filed papers seeking judicial review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEA) decision to grant licences to Newcastle University and King's College London to use animal-human hybrids.

The legal challenge is on two grounds. First, CLC and CORE are arguing that the HFEA acted beyond its powers when it granted the licences because the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 does not permit licenses for the creation of animal human hybrids. Secondly, the 1990 HFE Act provides that licences cannot be granted unless the HFEA is satisfied that the research is necessary or desirable for one of a number of specified purposes and the HFEA is satisfied that any proposed use of embryos is necessary for the purposes of the research.

The CLC and CORE are arguing that the proposed techniques are unnecessary and undesirable as a result of technical advances and that the proposed techniques do not work and raise new scientific problems which will make the research meaningless.

There is no legal internal process either in the 1990 Act or in the new Bill for interested persons to object to or appeal against the grant of a license and ask for reconsideration. In view of this lack of public accountability, the only way of challenging the HFEA's decisions is by way of judicial review.

The CLC and CORE have to be granted leave to proceed to a judicial review hearing. They are also applying for a protected costs order so that the court can decide whether to impose a limit on costs paid to the HFEA, if the challenge is unsuccessful. Please pray. [Christian Legal Centre]

No comments:

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen