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Marriage referendum: The kids will be fine May 6, 2015

Posted by Tomboktu in Bunreacht na hÉireann, Human Rights, Inequality, Marriage equality.
4 comments

[Update: in the comments, CMI1991 points out that I misread the 67 percent figure I cite — and badly. I apologise for that, though my underlying point remains valid.]

It looks like children will be key in the marriage referendum. The last Red C poll (PDF here) showed a combination of views that must cause some anxiety in both campaign HQs: support for the referendum was at 68 percent, but 67 percent agreed with the statement “It is inappropriate for children to be raised by gay couples”.

The standard Yes Equality response so far has been to point out that legally, the referendum is not about children, that legal issues concerning them have already been dealt with in the Children and Family Relationships Act which will still require that the best interest of the child is the primary criterion when it comes to applying the act to parenting, guardianship, adoption, and so on, whether the referendum passes or not.

At a meeting last week I watched an exchange between a representative of Yes Equality and a woman unhappy with same-sex couples becoming parents, in this case through surrogacy (though that was not her only concern). The Yes Equality representative thanked the woman for asking the question, and for doing so at a meeting where she was in a minority, and then he answered her question. He outlined the legal situation with surrogacy (unregulated, it happens), and that the government will be free to regulate surrogacy — including introducing a total ban if it chooses — whether the referendum is passed or not. He also that the reality is that in Ireland surrogacy is availed of mainly by different-sex couples, not same-sex couples.

If there were a textbook for this campaign, it would be a textbook Yes Equality answer: it was polite and respectful, and it provided accessible legal analysis and empirical evidence which showed that the woman’s concern was misplaced. But yet, but yet … I came away thinking it was missing something.

The May issue of Alive! has an article which highlights that missing element. The article — the Media Watch column — asks about the right of children ‘to be brought up, as far as possible, by a mother and father’. Actually, it’s not true that children have such a right. The previous week, Conor O’Mahony, a lecturer in child law and constitutional law at UCC, had tweeted that he had ‘Been searching legal databases all afternoon for a law that gives children a legal right to a mother and father. Results: zero‘. But even though it’s not true, it feels like it could be or ought to be. And that’s because it appeals to our emotions. There is a world of a difference between ‘a right to a mother and father’ and ‘a right to your mother and father’. For the fortunate majority of us, the latter concerns real people, and the feelings we have for our mother or our father — and for both in most cases — are a hugely important and positive part of our life. It is easy to slide from that positive felling most of us have about growing up with our mother and father, via a false claim about a non-existent universal right, to believing that both a mother and father are an essential part of a healthy, loving childhood. However, not only is not a human right: the empirical evidence shows that to grow up loved  cared for and develop and mature does not require the presence of both a mother and father; and the empirical evidence also shows that growing up with same-sex parents does not affect a child’s well-being or development.

The no side — Mothers and Fathers Matter and the Irish Catholic Bishops in particular — have appealed to voters’ feelings (both positive and negative); on the question of children, Yes Equality has appealed to their reason, hoping that the legal analysis and empirical evidence will be enough to persuade voters who have concerns about children. A month before polling day, Red C found that 67 percent were not making that connection, and two and a half weeks before it, Senator Katherine Zappone said it is hard for people she is talking to to move beyond the traditional concept of family.

It is ironic that campaign formed by and led by lesbian and gay people should be struggling to get this message across. So many of us who are gay have deep personal experience of the conflict between feelings and reason in the period before we came out, and we had to let go of our deeply held fear. A challenge for our leaders in the next two weeks is to see if they can find a way to encourage and help enough of the 67 percent to make a similar step and let go of their irrational fears. The task is to ensure enough voters realise that the kids will be fine.

A thought on the “Yes Equality” campaign? February 19, 2015

Posted by Tomboktu in Bunreacht na hÉireann, Human Rights, Inequality, LGBT.
10 comments

Two of the principles that the ‘Yes Equality’ coalition — the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, and Marriage Equality — have decided they will follow in the campaign on the referendum on marriage equality are (a) they will run a positive campaign and (b) that the referendum is not about children, as the question of children is being dealt with by the Children and Family Relationships Bill (which is to be published today).

It will be a difficult task. Their opponents are using negative campaigning and have insisted that the Children and Family Relationships Bill is at key part of the issue.

And by negative campaigning, I don’t mean merely critiquing the case for marriage equality, but insinuating stereotypes about gay men.

Last weekend’s RTÉ Radio 1 programme Saturday with Claire Byrne dealt entirely with the Children and Family Relationships Bill. It is a long and complicated piece of legislation (the most recent draft that has been published before today is 123 pages long — PDF here) and it covers a myriad of possibilities in how a child might be conceived and raised. One of the participants in Saturday’s programme was Bishop Kevin Doran. During the programme, Claire Byrne asked him to identify the substantive problem he sees with the Bill.

The core of his argument, and the Roman Catholic church’s, is that, when the genetic mother and father are not in a position to raise the child, it is preferable for a child to be brought up by a man and a woman. He picked one — and only one — example to elucidate why he thinks this is important:

Let’s just put it very simply. Take a young woman of 14, 15, 16 years of age growing to maturity and her two parents are two men. They may be the most loving, caring people in the world, but how can they respond as two men to the human, personal and feminine needs of a young woman growing up?

When he finished, the host, Claire Byrne, responded: “OK. There are probably some men who feel quite offended by that if they are bringing up a child, say a female child, on their own”, before turning to another panelist.

His opponents on the programme were three TDs: Alan Shatter, Róisín Shortall and Sean Fleming.  Bishop Doran and the other “anti” panelist on the programme, Ben Conroy of the Iona Institute, were vigorously challenged about a different claim that lone parents are less than ideal when it comes to adoption, in particular by Sean Fleming whose father died when he was in school and whose mother raised him and his siblings alone.

However, none of the TDs challenged the homophobia in the bishop’s comment, none of them challenged the bishop’s assertion that two gay men would unable to respond to their daughter’s ‘feminine needs’ when she reaches puberty. And it is a theme Bishop Doran has returned to this week when he delivered a speech to a meeting in Sligo on Tuesday evening:

It is certainly possible for two men to parent a teenage girl, but few would suggest that is the ideal.

Bishop Doran’s attacks are crying out for a “mini Panti moment”. The next time he is on radio or television, the bishop needs to be asked what exactly is it about two men, and two gay men in particular, in contrast to a widower, that is less than ideal when it comes to raising a daughter? How does he think widowed fathers deal with the onset of menstruation in their daughters? Does he think that two gay men raising daughters are shunned by their sisters, leaving their daughter without an aunt who can take her niece to get her first bra? Indeed, does he think heterosexual fathers with wives ought to ignore their daughter’s ‘feminine needs’?

I do not know if the Yes Equality coalition declined an invitation to take part in Saturday’s programme or were not invited, but they have been notably silent this week while the suitability of two gay men to be parents has been attacked in the debate about the Bill that will, among a myriad of other things, make that possible for the first time in Ireland. However, the explicit homophobia in the broader debate needs to be challenged, even if that means modifying a commitment to be positive and an intention to focus only on the referendum. However much GLEN, Marriage Equality and the ICCL may not like it, the question of children is now part of the debate. We saw on Saturday that we cannot depend on straight allies to expose the homophobia, but if it is left unchallenged, it will damage the Yes campaign.

The planned marriage referendum: Some sense in the Dáil October 10, 2014

Posted by Tomboktu in Bunreacht na hÉireann, Inequality, LGBT Rights, Marriage equality, Uncategorized.
14 comments

Yesterday in the Dáil, Michael McNamra made an interesting contribution to the debate on a bill amending the Civil Registration Act. At last somebody has asked this rather obvious question,

Another issue is impediments to marriage. This is an amendment to the Civil Registration Act 2004, which was the first legislation to note that being of the same sex is an impediment to marriage. The Government tells us there will be a referendum on this but I question the need for that. Can we not simply legislate for the issue? It will be a divisive and hurtful campaign for many people and it may not be necessary to engage the public in a referendum. After all, we Members of the Oireachtas are paid to be here and the Constitution says we are legislators, although Departments are the de facto legislators and we merely apply the rubber stamp. Do we need a referendum? I am led to believe a former Attorney General said a referendum is required on this in an opinion supplied to the Government. I have not seen this opinion nor has anyone else because no one sees the opinions of Attorneys General. Can an exception be made in this case? Is there a reason such opinions are not made available? Should such opinions be made available as a matter of course? If it is a matter where the State is being sued and there is a potential liability to the State, the Government will not wish to show its hand by publishing an opinion. Surely, however, opinions relating to matters of public importance that require the time and expense of a referendum could be published. Very few people want a referendum on this issue if it can be legislated for. That is certainly the case for most of the gay people who want to marry and to whom I have spoken. Why is it not possible to legislate for this?

I am aware of cases relating to this topic such as Murray v. Ireland and a high-profile one involving Senator Zappone. In Murray v. Ireland Mr. Justice Costello of the High Court and once of this House said the Constitution makes clear that the concept and nature of marriage, which it enshrines, are derived from the Christian notion of partnership based on irrevocable personal consent. It is clear, then, that the judgments refer to the Christian notion of marriage in the Constitution and on this basis the court found it was acceptable for Ireland to refuse to recognise same-sex marriages from abroad. There is a world of difference, however, between saying it is acceptable for the Oireachtas not to recognise same-sex marriages and saying it would be unlawful for the Oireachtas to legislate to recognise same-sex marriages or allow same-sex marriage in Ireland.

It is clear the notion of marriage in the Constitution is based on a Christian notion of marriage, but that does not mean civil marriages are unlawful in Ireland. Even divorce is lawful in Ireland since the constitutional referendum on that issue. Our notions of what provisions of the Constitution mean constantly evolve. Many people accept that gay marriage is part of the right to have a family, that the security of family life should apply to heterosexual and homosexual people equally. I question the need for a referendum on this issue if it is possible to legislate for it.

Marriage equality – 85% and complacency September 1, 2014

Posted by Tomboktu in Bunreacht na hÉireann, Equality, Human Rights, LGBT, Marriage equality.
5 comments

In the speeches outside the Department of Justice at the end of the March for Marriage Equality on Sunday week (24 August) Laura Harmon, President of USI, warned against complacency in the referendum campaign next year.

That might seem unnecessarily anxious. Sure, hadn’t the previous week’s Sunday Times’s poll (PDF here) shown that approval of gay relationships has reached 85%, up from 76% in the Sunday Business Post & RTÉ poll in February (PDF here) — heck, at that rate it would reach 94% by next February. If the referendum was passed with that majority, there would be one heck of a party.

But Harmon is right to warn against complacency. Reports the Irish Times on Thursday and the Irish Independent on Friday suggest that the government is also worried about complacency.

RED C, who conducted the February 2014 poll for the Sunday Business Post and RTÉ, reached the same conclusion.

Despite the high figures in the two polls, the ‘no’ side have the easier task in the referendum campaign. The proposal is to change the law, and the pressure will be on the ‘yes’ side to show why that is needed. To win, the ‘no’ campaigners need only cast doubts in enough minds — a constitutional “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”. One particular objective will be to dissuade those who are ‘soft’ yes voters from voting that way, whether by voting ‘no’ because of their area of doubt or by staying at home.

Before turning to that RED C analysis, it is important to note that the Behaviour & Attitudes poll for the ST did not ask about support for a constitutional amendment. It asked “Please tell me whether you personally believe that in general it is morally acceptable or morally wrong”. A list of fourteen items was then read to the survey participant, and “gay or lesbian relations” was one of them.

Further, as doctorfive pointed out here a few days ago, polls on abortion referendums have not been an accurate predictor of actual outcome. Add to that the difference between the actual result and the opinion polls in other referendums, such as the recent proposal to abolish the Seanad, and you have to be cautious, if not downright doubtful, about the accuracy of a figure of either 76 or 85 percent support for lifting the ban on same-sex marriage. In fact, the bread-and-butter polling of levels of support for parties is known to be inaccurate, and companies apply techniques to deal with that. Behaviour & Attitudes asks a question in polls on party support about who the survey participant actually voted for in the last election. The company later combines stated level of support for each party with the actual outcome at the previous election to modify the raw data in a poll to generate what it believes is a better measure of the actual current support for each party.

Even without statistical adjustments for accuracy in stated intentions compared with actual behaviour, neither the 85% nor 76% figure is likely to be a realistic indicator of the vote to amend the constitution. Both polls asked a second question, about adoption, which show the folly of relying on the headline figures. Both polls showed lower support for adoption of children by gay couples. But the rights of children with same-sex parents is at the heart of why lifting the ban on same-sex marriage is needed and why civil partnership is inadequate. In light of the lower level of support for gay adoption, campaigners against marriage equality would be stupid not to exploit the concerns that result in lower support for adoption.

The small number of people who will directly benefit from lifting the ban on same-sex marriage is likely to be a factor in how each side campaigns. Some on the ‘no’ side may use the small number of lgb people in the population as a campaigning point. The campaigners of marriage equality will be painfully aware that lgb people will need to rely on the support of hundreds of thousands who have no personal stake in the issue of equality in marriage for same-sex couples.

The polls do give them some information on where the support lies. For example in the Behaviour & Attitudes poll, when broken down by party, opposition to gay adoption is highest among Fianna Fáil voters and those who voted for “independents and others”. And those “might not vote” or “definitely would not vote” show the highest support for the view that gay adoption is morally acceptable. The need to persuade those passive supporters to become active supporters is probably the reason that a coalition of lgb campaigning groups spent the weekend at the Electric Picnic running the Marriage Equality Tent.

Nevertheless, GLEN and Marriage Equality will need something stronger than the promise of a favour if, on a rainy polling day, a 30-something heterosexual parent on the way home from work is to stop off at the polling station if they have two hungry kids in the back who would need to be “unloaded” from the car and “reloaded” so Daddy or Mammy can do their bit for equality. That particular inconvenience may not be the issue, but those kinds of everyday routines will deter many voters who were very certain when the man from RED C or Behaviour & Attitudes asked them the question in that poll they did back in 2014.

The opponents of equality also have the advantage of the experience of battle from running other referendum campaigns. They were not always victorious, but the nitty-gritty of a campaign targetting voters are familiar to them. The lgb organisations, in contrast have never had to rely totally on the public before. In some — but not all — of their successes to date, public opinion has mainly served to show policy makers that there is sufficient demand to justify them paying attention to the issue at hand.

The ‘no’ side has another advantage in the media. Two of its key strategists, David Quinn and Breda O’Brien, are weekly columnists in papers with circulations that are the largest (Quinn) and fourth largest (O’Brien) in the country. While there are columnists in national papers who are supporters of marriage equality, none are at the heart of planning the campaign and able to use their columns to synchronise messages with that campaign. And the opponents of equality have won key battles in how the broadcast media will deal with or be allowed to deal with the debate, with the RTÉ payouts in the “Pantigate” affair and the recent advisory note from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland following the complaint about the Mooney Show on RTÉ.

On the other hand, GLEN has applied some findings from the polls in its media work. In the last month, it has been the source of news stories on local papers and radio in Sligo and Leitrim, in Donegal and in Kerry on local data on the number of couples who entered civil partnerships in those areas. Them gays are not all up in Dublin, you know.

Constitutional Convention February 24, 2014

Posted by Tomboktu in Bunreacht na hÉireann, Health, Housing, Human Rights, Judiciary, Religion.
13 comments

It would not be correct ot say that the Convention on the Constitution has been radical, but it has wrapped up its work with its most radical recommendation.

In Ireland, economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights are included in the Constitution merely as “directive principles” for the guidance of the Oireachtas. (The exception is the right to a primary education.) The Constitution states that these rights “shall not be cognisable by any Court under any of the provisions of this Constitution”. [An aside: doesn’t the word ‘cognisable’ sound like street slang for ‘recognisable’? The image of Dev getting down with the lads doesn’t seem right. At all.]

The principles listed under this provision are

  • an adequate means of livelihood
  • ownership and control of the material resources distributed to best subserve the common good
  • the operation of free competition not being allowed so todevelop to the common detriment
  • the aim of the control of credit shall be the welfare of the people as a whole
  • there may be established on the land in economic security as many families as practicable
  • the State whall favour and, where necessary, supplement private initiative in industry and commerce
  • private enterprise shall be conducted to ensure reasonable efficiency in the production and distribution of goods and to protect the public against unjust exploitation
  • the State safeguarding with especial care the economic interests of the weaker sections of the community
  • ensure that the strength and health of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children shall not be abused

Those of us on the Left would hardly think it radical that any of these would move to legal requirements that can be invoked before the courts, and would not be thrilled to see the status of private industry — already sheltered with property rights — re-inforced by being made something judges must take account of in legal decisions.

An overwhelming majority — 85 percent — of the members of the convention voted in favour of the broad proposition that the Constitution should be amended to strengthen the protection of economic, social and cultural rights. A smaller majority — 59 percent — recommended that the Constitution be amended by the insertion of a provision that the State shall progressively realise ESC rights, subject to maximum available resources and that this duty is cognisable by the Courts. This was the strongest of three options the Convention considered for strangthening the status of ESC rights in the Constitution.

However, progressive realisation subject to maximum available resources is not a very strong standard.

It also voted on five possible specific new rights to be named in the Constitution:

  • housing
  • social security
  • essential health care
  • rights of people with disabilities
  • linguistic and cultural rights

In each case, it voted overwhelmlingly in favour of each of these — the least popular was linguistic and cultural rights, with 75 percent support.

It also voted for the “rights covered in the International Covenant on ESC Rights” to be named in the Constitution — this received support from 80 percent of the members of the Convention.

I do not expect this recommendation to go far. The idea that citizens could go to the courts to invoke rights on these matters is simply too alien to our governments, politcal and permanent. Indeed, when an alliance of NGOs first met last year to discuss the idea of asking the Convention to consider the issue, they held a seminar at which the political parties sent representatives to give their views. It was disappointing to hear the party representatives say that constituional protection of ESC rights is not something they support. I hope some them reconsider in lgiht of the numbers from Sunday’s vote.

The choice of a referendum on same-sex marriage November 25, 2013

Posted by Tomboktu in Bunreacht na hÉireann, Inequality, LGBT.
1 comment so far

The cabinet has decided to hold a referendum in 2015 to lift the ban on same-sex marriage.

Over on Human Rights in Ireland, Fiona de Londras raises two interesting questions that deserve attention:

  • why are we having a referendum in the first place? and
  • what is the personal and social cost of a referendum?

de Londras, formerly of UCD Law School and now at Durham University, argues that it is not certain that a referendum is needed. Instead of going straight to a referendum to amend the constitution, she suggests an alternative route that might avoid a referendum. That route is:

(1) pass an Act to that repeals section 2(2)(e) of the Civil Registration Act 2004;

(2) have that Act referred to the Supreme Court.

Section 2(2) of the civil Registration Act names five impediments to a legal marriage, listed (a) to (e); item (e) is “both parties are of the same sex“.

The President has the power under Article 26 to refer a Bill that has been passed by the Oireachtas to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality. That process is time-bound, and would therefore produce a result quickly. If the Supreme Court finds that Bill to delete section 2(2)(e) is constitutional, the ban on same-sex marriage would have been lifted without a referendum. If, on the other hand, the Supreme Court rules against the amendment to the Act, then the proposal to amend the Constitution it can proceed. However, it is not necessary to go directly to a constitutional amendment.

Her second point is why that route whould be preferred.

Referenda in Ireland are divisive things; this is, perhaps, in their nature, and divisiveness in social discourse is not something to shy away from unnecessarily. However, that divisiveness is also not cost-free, and particularly not for the people whose rights and capacity to ‘belong’ within social institutions are being debated. There will be a social cost to this referendum. LGB people in Ireland will have to debate with neighbours and family members and try to convince them to acknowledge us as equal citizens in our own country. We will see, hear and read claims that we are somehow not deserving of the institutional, legal and social recognitions that come with the right to access marriage.

That will be harmful. The harms will vary; it may harm me by simply being hurtful, but what harm might it do to the mid-fifties farmer who never had the confidence to come out, or the person subjected to homophobic bullying in the workplace, or the 14-year old who thinks she might be lesbian? People are resilient, and will bear this harm I’m sure. Indeed, the harm will, I imagine, be lessened should the referendum succeed. But this does not mean that it will not exist.

de Londras’s concern is not theoretical. An acquaintance of mine commented last week that she, her partner and their two sons will not be answering the call from lgb organisations for families to participate in the campaign:

Full marriage really affect my family more than most, but I have no intention of making my wife or children the poster people for it.

The State’s position on the rights in the kind of situation before Savita Halappanava’s death November 17, 2012

Posted by Tomboktu in Bunreacht na hÉireann, Ethics, Feminism, Health, Human Rights, Ireland, Medical Issues.
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Here is what the government says is the official procedure to be followed in the kind of situation that preceeded Savita Halappanava’s death, as explained by the Government to the European Court of Human Rights in 2009, and summarised by that Court in September 2010. [I have added the emphasis. Here they are dicussing the case of “C”.]

189. As regards the third applicant specifically, the Government made the following submissions.

In the first place, they maintained in response to a question from the Court, that the procedure for obtaining a lawful abortion in Ireland was clear. The decision was made, like any other major medical matter, by a patient in consultation with her doctor. On the rare occasion there was a possibility of a risk to the life of a woman, there was “a very clear and bright line rule provided by Irish law which is neither difficult to understand or to apply because it is the same law that has been applied under Section 58 of the 1861 Act, under Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution and under the legislative provisions of every country which permits a pregnancy to be terminated on that ground”. As to the precise procedures to be followed by a pregnant woman and her doctor where an issue arose as to such a possible risk, it was the responsibility of the doctor and a termination could occur when the risk was real and substantial. If the patient did not agree with that advice, she was free to seek another medical opinion and, in the last resort, she could make an emergency application to the High Court (as outlined above). The grounds for lawful abortion in Ireland were well known and applied. Referring to the Medical Council Guidelines, the CPA Guidelines and the evidence of practitioners to the Committee on the Constitution, the Government considered it clear that, while there were issues regarding the characterisation of medical treatment essential to protect the life of the mother, medical intervention occurred when a mother’s life was threatened, the refusal of treatment on grounds of moral disapproval was prohibited and a patient was entitled to a second opinion. While the Irish Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists had no published guidelines concerning a pregnant woman presenting with life threatening conditions, that Institute would be in agreement with the Guidelines of the United Kingdom Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists concerning the management of ectopic pregnancies and it was probable that Irish gynaecologists would “by and large” follow the latter Guidelines with or without minor amendments or additions. This clear process of how a decision to terminate a pregnancy was taken in Ireland by the patient in consultation with the doctor was regularly followed in the case of ectopic pregnancies./blockquote>

[You may wish to know that Ireland was found by the European Court of Human Rights to have breached the human rights of “C”.]

The 90-page PDF is available here.

Dear FG, please copy and paste January 8, 2011

Posted by Tomboktu in Bunreacht na hÉireann, Complete nonsense, Fine Gael, Judiciary.
3 comments

Dear Fine Gael,

In light of the news that 22 judges are refusing to take a pay cut, and the failure to implement your 2009 promise to introduce a Constitutional amendment to allow judges’ pay to be reduced, Cedar Lounge Revolution is happy to present, for a second time (with the year changed), the English language text your party needs. Unlike the recently discussed plans to abolish the Seanad, this isn’t complicated and involves only one article in the Constitution. Could you arrange for it to be among our ballot papers on the day of the General Election, please.

 

With Kind Regards,

Tomboktu

(PS: Apologies that my Gaeilge is not up to doing the Irish texts, but I know that you have access to the necessary expertise.)

———————————————

———————————————

Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2011

———

As initiated

———

———

TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL,

2011

———

Mar a tionscnáodh

———

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1. Amendment of Article 35 of the Constitution.

2. Citation.

———

TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL,

2011

———

BILL

entitled

AN ACT TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION.

WHEREAS by virtue of Article 46 of the Constitution any provision of the Constitution may be amended in the manner provided by that Article:

AND WHEREAS it is proposed to amend Article 35 of the Constitution:

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

1.–(1) Article 35 of the Constitution is hereby amended as follows:

(a) in the Irish text – […],

(b) in the English text –

(i) the insertion of “except as provided for in section 6” after the word “office”, and

(ii) the insert of the following section after section 5–

“6 The remuneration of a judge may be reduced during her or his continuance in office only when and to the same extent that a reduction in pay is applied to a significant proportion of workers who remuneration is supplied from public funds.”.

2.–(1) The amendment of the Constitution effected by this Act shall be called the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution.

(2) This Act may be cited as the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Putting Manners on the Judiciary) Act, 2011.

———————————————

AN BILLE UM AN SEACHTÚ LEASÚ IS FICHE AR AN mBUNREACHT, 2011

TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL, 2011

———

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

———

Purpose of Bill

The Bill is designed to amend the Constitution in order to achieve the following purpose: To make it constitutional for the pay of members of the judiciary to be reduced provided that this is done in a way and at a time that is similar to any reduction that applies to other public sector workers.

 

An amendment to the Constitution November 18, 2009

Posted by Tomboktu in Blogging, Bunreacht na hÉireann, Ethics, Internet.
1 comment so far

I am glad to see Fine Gael catching up with the blogosphere.

This proposal was posted on livejournal some months ago. (I do like the proposed short title in section 2(2).)

———————–

Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2009

________

As initiated

________

Image shows Official Seal of Ireland - The Irish Harp as it would be laid out on a printed version of a Bill

________

TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL,

2009

________

Mar a tionscnáodh

________

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.    Amendment of Article 35 of the Constitution.

2.    Citation.

________

TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL,

2009

________

BILL

entitled

AN ACT TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION.

WHEREAS by virtue of Article 46 of the Constitution any provision of the Constitution may be amended in the manner provided by that Article:

AND WHEREAS it is proposed to amend Article 35 of the Constitution:

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

1–(1) Article 35 of the Constitution is hereby amended as follows:

(a) in the Irish text – […],

(b) in the English text –

(i) the insertion of “except as provided for in section 6” after the word “office”, and

(ii) the insert of the following section after section 5–

“6 The remuneration of a judge may be reduced during her or his continuance in office only when and to the same extent that a reduction in pay is applied to a significant proportion of workers who remuneration is supplied from public funds.”.

2–(1) The amendment of the Constitution effected by this Act shall be called the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution.

(2) This Act may be cited as the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Putting Manners on the Judiciary) Act, 2009.

_______________________________________________

AN BILLE UM AN SEACHTÚ LEASÚ IS FICHE AR AN mBUNREACHT,

2009

TWENTY-SEVENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL, 2009

________

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

________

Purpose of Bill

The Bill is designed to amend the Constitution in order to achieve the following purpose: To make it constitutional for the pay of members of the judiciary to be reduced provided that this is done in a way and at a time that is similar to any reduction that applies to other public sector workers.

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