Nevertheless, the court had heard argument relating to incompatibility with Convention Rights and the justices undertook a comprehensive examination of the subject and expressed opinion on it. Technically the opinion is not binding - it is obiter dicta - but, on any view, it has to be taken immensely seriously by those with power to legislate on these matters. The court's opinion was that:
By a majority of 5 to 2 - In cases of fatal foetal abnormality - the law was incompatible with Article 8
By a majority of 4 to 3 - the law was also incompatible with Article 8 in cases where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
A majority (4) would not have made a declaration that the law of Northern Ireland is incompatible with Article 3. Two of the Justices would have made a declaration. Lady Hale did not consider it necessary to decide this issue given her view on Article 8.
See the Court's Judgment and Summary.
For some discussion on this cse see Joshua Rozenberg at Law Society Gazette 18th June.