The Supreme Court will give its judgment on Wednesday in a landmark case about the extent of the rights of the unborn.

The State has appealed a High Court finding that the unborn has constitutional rights beyond the right to life in the Eighth Amendment.

The court, which is sitting outside Dublin for only the second time this week, will give its decision in Limerick on Wednesday morning.

The judgment stems from an immigration case involving a Nigerian man, his Irish partner and their child, who was just 20 days away from birth when the case began.

The man wanted the Minister for Justice to revoke a deportation order against him.

The High Court found the unborn was a child who had rights under the Constitution beyond the right to life.

The State appealed that finding.

It argued the only right the unborn has is the right to be born and all other constitutional rights, including the right to the care and company of a parent, take effect at birth.

It claimed if the unborn's rights extended beyond the right to life it would have implications for areas outside immigration and for many State agencies dealing with pregnant women and children, and would have a range of consequences that were difficult to predict.

Lawyers for the man, his partner and child, argued that the State's views were extreme.

They submitted the minster must consider an unborn child's existing or prospective rights in such an immigration case.

They argued the right to life was protected in the Constitution before 1983 and that people who voted for the Eighth Amendment did not vote to exclude the unborn from all other constitutional protections.

The seven judges heard the case urgently because of the forthcoming referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment.

Their decision, just two weeks later, may affect the timing of that vote, as well as the wording to be put to the people.