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Thread: Enda Kenny: no Court has set out the meaning of the McKenna Judgement.

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    Default Enda Kenny: no Court has set out the meaning of the McKenna Judgement.

    Mr Kenny told the Dáil today that 'no court had set out specifically the parameters, confines and meaning of the McKenna judgement', according to the Irish Times website report by two of the paper's experienced Dáil reporters Michael O'Regan and Marie O'Halloran. I am assuming their report is accurate.

    The claim he makes about no Court setting out the meaning of the McKenna judgment indicates that Mr Kenny believes there is still some lingering doubt about how it was that he and his Government broke their Constitutional duty in the conduct of the referendum. If that is so, we really do have cause to worry. It could not be much simpler.

    Four Supreme Court judges in the McKenna case set out exactly what they meant in their own words and using plain English. Their 1995 judgment is here.

    And if that was too long, how about reading 500 words? That is the rough length of the Supreme Court ruling of last Thursday. If you missed it, here it is:

    'Ruling of the Court delivered on the 8th day of November, 2012 by Denham C.J.

    1. This is an appeal by Mark McCrystal, the plaintiff/appellant, referred to as “the appellant”, from the judgment and order of the High Court (Kearns P.) given on the 1st November, 2012.

    2. This matter was dealt with as a matter of urgency by the High Court, as it is by this Court, as the appellant has sought declarations, an injunction and consequential orders which have a relevance to the Referendum taking place on the 10th November, 2012.

    3. In McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2) [1995] 2 I.R. 10, it was held that the Government in expending public moneys in the promotion of a particular result in a Referendum process was in breach of the Constitution.

    The people adopted the Constitution 75 years ago. The Constitution belongs to the people and may be amended only by the people in a Referendum. It is this democratic process which is protected by the McKenna principles. Public funding should not be used in a Referendum to espouse a particular point of view.


    4. The McKenna principles may be found in the several judgments in that case. These principles, which are not in dispute, are consistent with standards recognised both nationally and internationally for a Referendum process, such as the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), Code for Good Practice on Referendums, adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections at its 19th Meeting (Venice, 16 December, 2006) and the Venice Commission at its 70th Plenary Session (Venice, 16 – 17 March, 2007).

    5. At issue in this case is the application of these principles to a booklet and a website, both entitled “Children’s Referendum”, and advertisements, published and disseminated by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, on foot of moneys voted by the Oireachtas, which the appellant submits breach the McKenna principles.

    6. The Court is required to give its decision promptly, in view of the pending Referendum to be held on Saturday, 10th November, 2012. The substance of that proposal is a matter for the people alone. The Court will give its ruling today and judgements will be delivered on Tuesday, 11th December, 2012.

    7. The Court has concluded that it is clear that there are extensive passages in the booklet and on the website which do not conform to the McKenna principles. This material includes a misstatement, now admitted to be such, as to the effect of the Referendum.

    8. The Court is satisfied that while not all of the website or the booklet are in breach of the McKenna principles, because of the overall structure of the booklet and website, it would not be appropriate for the Court to redact either.

    9. Accordingly, the Court would grant a declaration that the respondents have acted wrongfully in expending or arranging to expend public moneys on the website, booklet and advertisements in relation to the Referendum on the Thirty First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Bill, 2012, in a manner which was not fair, equal or impartial. The Court does not consider it either appropriate or necessary to grant an injunction, as it is to be assumed that the respondents will cease distributing and publishing the material.'

    There it is: the public's money must not be used by Government in a campaign to persuade the public to change the Constitution.

    That was the rule, and that was what was broken by the Government.

    Please do not pay more of our money to consultants, market researchers, lawyers or anyone else in a politically expedient effort to make the simple complex. Just run the next referendum by the rules. That is not a lot to ask of our lawmakers.
    Last edited by He3; 14th November 2012 at 12:23 AM. Reason: Typo fix
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by He3 View Post
    Mr Kenny told the Dáil today that 'no court had set out specifically the parameters, confines and meaning of the McKenna judgement', according to the Irish Times website report by two of the paper's experience Dáil reporters Michael O'Regan and Marie Halloran. I am assuming their report is accurate.

    The claim he makes about no Court setting out the meaning of the McKenna judgment indicates that Mr Kenny believes there is still some lingering doubt about how it was that he and his Government broke their Constitutional duty in the conduct of the referendum. If that is so, we really do have cause to worry. It could not be much simpler.

    Four Supreme Court judges in the McKenna case set out exactly what they meant in their own words and using plain English. Their 1995 judgment is here.

    And if that was too long, how about reading 500 words? That is the rough length of the Supreme Court ruling of last Thursday. If you missed it, here it is:

    'Ruling of the Court delivered on the 8th day of November, 2012 by Denham C.J.

    1. This is an appeal by Mark McCrystal, the plaintiff/appellant, referred to as “the appellant”, from the judgment and order of the High Court (Kearns P.) given on the 1st November, 2012.

    2. This matter was dealt with as a matter of urgency by the High Court, as it is by this Court, as the appellant has sought declarations, an injunction and consequential orders which have a relevance to the Referendum taking place on the 10th November, 2012.

    3. In McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2) [1995] 2 I.R. 10, it was held that the Government in expending public moneys in the promotion of a particular result in a Referendum process was in breach of the Constitution.

    The people adopted the Constitution 75 years ago. The Constitution belongs to the people and may be amended only by the people in a Referendum. It is this democratic process which is protected by the McKenna principles. Public funding should not be used in a Referendum to espouse a particular point of view.


    4. The McKenna principles may be found in the several judgments in that case. These principles, which are not in dispute, are consistent with standards recognised both nationally and internationally for a Referendum process, such as the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), Code for Good Practice on Referendums, adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections at its 19th Meeting (Venice, 16 December, 2006) and the Venice Commission at its 70th Plenary Session (Venice, 16 – 17 March, 2007).

    5. At issue in this case is the application of these principles to a booklet and a website, both entitled “Children’s Referendum”, and advertisements, published and disseminated by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, on foot of moneys voted by the Oireachtas, which the appellant submits breach the McKenna principles.

    6. The Court is required to give its decision promptly, in view of the pending Referendum to be held on Saturday, 10th November, 2012. The substance of that proposal is a matter for the people alone. The Court will give its ruling today and judgements will be delivered on Tuesday, 11th December, 2012.

    7. The Court has concluded that it is clear that there are extensive passages in the booklet and on the website which do not conform to the McKenna principles. This material includes a misstatement, now admitted to be such, as to the effect of the Referendum.

    8. The Court is satisfied that while not all of the website or the booklet are in breach of the McKenna principles, because of the overall structure of the booklet and website, it would not be appropriate for the Court to redact either.

    9. Accordingly, the Court would grant a declaration that the respondents have acted wrongfully in expending or arranging to expend public moneys on the website, booklet and advertisements in relation to the Referendum on the Thirty First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Bill, 2012, in a manner which was not fair, equal or impartial. The Court does not consider it either appropriate or necessary to grant an injunction, as it is to be assumed that the respondents will cease distributing and publishing the material.'

    There it is: the public's money must not be used by Government in a campaign to persuade the public to change the Constitution.

    That was the rule, and that was what was broken by the Government.

    Please do not pay more of our money to consultants, market researchers, lawyers or anyone else in a politically expedient effort to make the simple complex. Just run the next referendum by the rules. That is not a lot to ask of our lawmakers.
    Succinctly and accurately put.

    No shouting, no emotion, just truth.


    D

  3. #3
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    This just a case of the judges getting their own back on Kenny for cutting their pay .

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    Politics.ie Member ger12's Avatar
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    Halfwit
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

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    Quote Originally Posted by culmore View Post
    This just a case of the judges getting their own back on Kenny for cutting their pay .
    Chuckle.

    No it's not.
    At 12 weeks the “clump of cells” toes curl, her mouth makes sucking movements, she has a human face and if you prod the tummy she will move in response

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    As the saying goes, if voting could change anything they'd abolish it
    Follow the money in this country and it ALWAYS goes back to state support, be it tax breaks, state contracts and the manipulation of markets for the gombeen class.

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    Kenny trying to build a case that they couldn't have known where the line was and therefore can't be held responsible for crossing said line . . . implication being also that they did us a favour by clearly delineating what does and does not constitute a breach of McKenna. Of course that argument ignores the fact that a child (pun intended) could have told him that the way the framed and worded the website and the leaflet was quite obviously pro-yes. In any other world Frances Fitzgerald (FF !!) would walk for this but not here. If FF were still in power all in FG and LAB would be demanding heads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by culmore View Post
    This just a case of the judges getting their own back on Kenny for cutting their pay .
    I really could use your opinion on something.*








    *What are next week's lottery numbers.




    Referendum on Judges pay [2012]

    McKenna Judgment [1995]

    Coughlan Judgment [2000]



    Kenny must have the gift as well.


    D

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    Politics.ie Member Big Brother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuineEile View Post
    Succinctly and accurately put.

    No shouting, no emotion, just truth.


    D
    +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrem View Post
    If FF were still in power all in FG and LAB would be demanding heads.
    But the fact is they're not in power and as things stand what would be the point of demanding a head if there's nothing in it??

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