State to pay most of Marie Fleming's right-to-die legal costs

Tuesday 21 January 2014 14.04
Marie Fleming died last month after losing her landmark legal challenge
Marie Fleming died last month after losing her landmark legal challenge

The State has agreed to orders that it will pay most of the substantial legal costs of the unsuccessful challenge by Marie Fleming to Ireland's laws on assisted suicide.

The 59-year-old from Wicklow died last month after losing her landmark right-to-die case.

The Supreme Court agreed to an application by Ms Fleming's lawyers not to formally draw up the costs order until her estate has been constituted.

The court agreed to affirm an order made by the High Court awarding Ms Fleming costs against the State of the High Court hearing. 

It also awarded Ms Fleming half of the costs of her Supreme Court appeal.

Ms Fleming was in the final stages of Multiple Sclerosis when she began her court action seeking to be assisted in having a peaceful and dignified death at a time of her choice without the risk of prosecution for anyone who helped her.

Last April, the seven-judge Supreme Court ruled the right to life under the Constitution "does not import a right to die" in what it described as this "very tragic case".