“However, the judgment which I have to reach is not based on social policy, but on the law,” he said.
O’Hara said the European Court of Human Rights has never recognized any right to same-sex marriage.
Ireland is currently planning on holding a referendum to liberalize the country’s pro-life abortion laws in 2018 – the same year Pope Francis is expected to visit Dublin for the World Meeting of Families.
‘Many women enter prostitution while under 18; many are pimped by a third party.
The lawyers in the case contended the ban breached Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights, by denying respect for their private and family lives.
“It is not at all difficult to understand how gay men and lesbians who have suffered discrimination, rejection and exclusion feel so strongly about the maintenance in Northern Ireland of the barrier to same sex marriage,” Justice John O’Hara said.
But when we travelled to Sweden to investigate the experience there, police officers told us that prostitution cannot ever be entirely underground; clients must be able to access it.
Iceland and Norway have adopted what has become the Nordic model; the Northern Ireland Assembly recently voted in favour of it.
The European Parliament has approved a resolution calling for its adoption throughout the EU.
Exploitation, trafficking and coercion of vulnerable young women represent the reality of prostitution in Ireland today.’ Photograph: Getty Images Prostitution has recently been presented in this newspaper as a freely entered commercial transaction between consenting adults.
Commentators have suggested that the introduction into Irish law of the ‘Swedish model’, where the sale of sex is legal but its purchase is criminalised, would represent a paternalistic attempt to restrict women’s choices.