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Thread: Using the courts to further democracy?

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member cry freedom's Avatar
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    Default Using the courts to further democracy?

    The country is crying out for leadership and good government!
    The opposition are hopeless and offer no new way forward.
    The rest of us sit on our hands and whine that somebody should be doing something about it.
    Forming a new party has been suggested on several occasions but the history of new parties in this country leaves a lot to be desired.
    My idea is that we should use the courts to hold politicians and administrations to account.
    If enough of the people of this country cared enough to give a euro per head per week to a fund, the purpose of which would be to haul the powers that be before the courts to account for 4 or 5 of their decisions per year, then we might get somewhere.
    For instance, if some organization or individual had the money and the inclination to take an action against the government over the continued storage of the now useless e-voting machines for instance, would the present legal set -up allow them to bring a case?
    We need a third tier of democracy.
    The Dail is corrupt and moribund!
    The Seanad are next to useless and a waste of money
    Could the courts be used to clean the whole sorry mess up, give it a good kick in the arse and set it on a clean, efficient path.
    Lest you worry, I speak as someone who has a healthy skepticism of lawyers and judges also.
    Last edited by cry freedom; 6th October 2010 at 01:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member cry freedom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cry freedom View Post
    The country is crying out for leadership and good government!
    The opposition are hopeless and offer no new way forward.
    The rest of us sit on our hands and whine that somebody should be doing something about it.
    Forming a new party has been suggested on several occasions but the history of new parties in this country leaves a lot to be desired.
    My idea is that we should use the courts to hold politicians and administrations to account.
    If enough of the people of this country cared enough to give a euro per head per week to a fund, the purpose of which would be to haul the powers that be before the courts to account for 4 or 5 of their decisions per year, then we might get somewhere.
    For instance, if some organization or individual had the money and the inclination to take an action against the government over the continued storage of the now useless e-voting machines for instance, would the present legal set -up allow them to bring a case?
    We need a third tier of democracy.
    The Dail is corrupt and moribund!
    The Seanad are next to useless and a waste of money
    Could the courts be used to clean the whole sorry mess up, give it a good kick in the arse and set it on a clean, efficient path.
    Lest you worry, I speak as someone who has a healthy skepticism of lawyers and judges also.
    No takers eh?
    Come on gang.
    The idea can't be that bad.
    Or is it?

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cry freedom View Post
    The country is crying out for leadership and good government!
    The opposition are hopeless and offer no new way forward.
    The rest of us sit on our hands and whine that somebody should be doing something about it.
    Forming a new party has been suggested on several occasions but the history of new parties in this country leaves a lot to be desired.
    My idea is that we should use the courts to hold politicians and administrations to account.
    If enough of the people of this country cared enough to give a euro per head per week to a fund, the purpose of which would be to haul the powers that be before the courts to account for 4 or 5 of their decisions per year, then we might get somewhere.
    For instance, if some organization or individual had the money and the inclination to take an action against the government over the continued storage of the now useless e-voting machines for instance, would the present legal set -up allow them to bring a case?
    We need a third tier of democracy.
    The Dail is corrupt and moribund!
    The Seanad are next to useless and a waste of money
    Could the courts be used to clean the whole sorry mess up, give it a good kick in the arse and set it on a clean, efficient path.
    Lest you worry, I speak as someone who has a healthy skepticism of lawyers and judges also.
    The courts can only ensure the implementation of the laws that the Oireachtas makes and prevent the Constitution being broken. It can't create laws.

    Someone could take a case against e-voting machines, but they'd lose because it isn't illegal or unconstitutional. The government also gets brought in front of the courts all the time. A developer (can't think of his name) is currently doing it right now.
    "Give us the future, we've had enough of YOUR past, Give us back our country, to live in, to grow in and to love..."

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    Politics.ie Member DeputyEdo's Avatar
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    So you want to bring the people who make the laws to court?
    I can see that working out well.

    with regard to the e-voting....what would they be going to court for? wasting money? being idiots?....I don't think either of them is against the law

  5. #5

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    Why has nobody sued Michael Fingleton. Each taxpayer is contributing 2500 to bailing out Irish Nationwide. Irish Nationwide was run into the ground by Fingers.

    So if a person was to take a district court case would they win?

    Is there a duty of care? Arguably there is.

    It was reasonably forseeable that the taxpayer would bail out the society in the event of a failure.

    And I don't think it a stretch to argue that his behaviour could be regarded as negligent.

    One test case would be very, very interesting.

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    Politics.ie Member farnaby's Avatar
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    It's a good idea. The govt obey the letter of the law and Constitution i.e. if they want to do something not strictly illegal or unconstitutional, they reckon it's ok. (Same applies to expense claims btw). They need to be challenged vigourously on this level if there is a way to do so.

    You'd need a very strong test case, and I doubt e-voting machines would do it. I've raised here the fact that the govt has breached article 45 of the constitution regarding social policy, but unfortunatly that is a matter for the Oireachtas not the courts.

  7. #7
    Politics.ie Member corelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Service charge View Post
    Why has nobody sued Michael Fingleton. Each taxpayer is contributing 2500 to bailing out Irish Nationwide. Irish Nationwide was run into the ground by Fingers.

    So if a person was to take a district court case would they win?

    Is there a duty of care? Arguably there is.

    It was reasonably forseeable that the taxpayer would bail out the society in the event of a failure.

    And I don't think it a stretch to argue that his behaviour could be regarded as negligent.

    One test case would be very, very interesting.
    As it was not, at the time, a State company, Fingleton owes/owed the taxpayer no duty of care whatsoever. Additionally, the State did not HAVE to bail it out. So, you would go down in flames is the short answer.
    "......... we must sometimes listen to those who, consumed with zeal, have scant judgment or balance. To such ones the modern world is nothing but betrayal and ruin.........We feel bound to disagree with these prophets of doom who are forever forecasting calamity -- as though the world's end were imminent."

  8. #8
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    It's a nice thought. However, let me point you in the direction of an LIT lecturer called Denis Riordan. Bottom line is that THEY will retaliate, so someone contemplating this route better have very, very deep pockets

    Denis Riordan v The Judiciary: ThePost.ie

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    The Courts sank Zoe among others, when every other institution of State stood idly by.

    Have a look at Bust - Dearbhal McDonald's new book on some of what has been achieved there. Not all roses but far from useless.

    Then have a look at The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham.

    Then find a good lawyer.
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member cry freedom's Avatar
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    Okay, okay, the voting machines is a bad example.
    Let me try another tack.
    As we speak the government are ploughing ahead with their plans to build the new children's hospital at the Mater. They have spent considerable amounts of public money on consultant's fees advising them to build it on that site. Yet they arrogantly refuse to let the bill payer read the reports.
    Could a court case be used to pry that information out of them.
    I would be basing this on the [perhaps naive] assumption that the government and the people freely entered into a contract at the last elections.
    If a contract between the people and the state could be proved to exist then perhaps a different view might be taken by the powers that be with regard to their responsibilities thereunder.
    Its toe in the water time here folks.
    From little acorns etc...
    In post no 3 Rocky made the very valid point about the private individual, Paddy McKillen, taking NAMA to the high court.
    While this case is very interesting, I just feel that the idea of an organization , democratic and broadly based, taking the govt up the steps would have a far more therapeutic effect than a mear individual working in his own,[admittedly legitimate] self interest.
    Last edited by cry freedom; 7th October 2010 at 04:01 PM. Reason: toe in the water not toe on the water

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