The Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, convened the Council of State at Áras an Uachtaráin on Monday 29th July to hear the council’s advice on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
The bill passed through the Oireachtas but must be signed by the President to become law. President Higgins has invoked his right to convene a Council of State to consider the bill. This is the first step he must take before being able to refer the bill to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality. The council’s advice is not binding.
President Higgins has until Wednesday 31st July 2013 to decide to refer the bill to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court then has 60 days to review the bill. If the court approves the bill, it automatically becomes law and its constitutional standing can not be challenged any further.