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Christian Legal Centre (CLC) and Comment On Reproductive Ethics (CORE) seek Judicial Review over ‘Illegal’ Licences for Animal Human Hybrids

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Issued by Christian Legal Centre (CLC) and Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE)

Press Release

For Immediate Release

9 December 2008


The High Court on Tuesday 9th December will announce whether it will grant permission for a Judicial Review as to whether licenses granted for research work on Animal Human Hybrids were illegal.

At 10.00am, at the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, London, Mrs Justice Dobbs will rule whether to grant permission to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) and Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE) for a Judicial Review over the actions by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). This is a continuation of the part heard hearing on the 26 November.

CLC and CORE believe the HFEA acted outside its powers as the licences were granted on the 9 January 2008 BEFORE Parliament had debated and voted on the principles of the issue in both the Lords and the Commons. Since that time the law has been changed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 but is not yet in force.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and founder of CLC said: “We believe that under the legislation in force at the date on which the Authority granted licences to the Institute of Human Genetics, University of Newcastle and King’s College London for new experimental work on Animal Human Hybrids, the decision to grant such approval was illegal.

“The HFEA was fully aware that Parliament was about to debate the principles and practice of this highly controversial issue, and indeed that the legislation in force at the time could have been narrowed or widened, and yet they decided to go ahead.  There are many technical and nuanced reasons why we believe the HFEA’s decision was outside the power handed down to it by Parliament, but this case asks two basic questions: to whom are these Regulators/Independent Public Bodies accountable and, who makes the law of the land, Parliament or such independent public bodies?”

In a move which will gather support from other non-profit organisations and charities concerned at the level of unaccountability of public bodies such as the HFEA, whereby there is no internal means of challenging such decisions and real difficulty in holding them legally accountable through the courts, CLC and CORE will also seek a Protective Costs order to limit the legal bills in this case.

Members of the press are welcome to attend.


For further information:

Andrea Minichiello Williams: 0771 259 1164.


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