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Breaking: SF's Pearse Doherty in High Court over failure to hold by-election


Kerrygold

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Jan 31, 2005
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4,748
Just got this statement.

Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty is in the High Court this morning seeking leave for a judicial review into the failure of the government to hold the Donegal South West by-election.*****
*****
If leave is granted this will be a first step in the battle to force the government to hold the by-election.
*****
Senator Doherty will be available to speak to the media outside the High Court, following the courts decision at approximately 1pm. He will be accompanied by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and the party's Dáil Group Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD.
 

Ulster-Lad

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Fair play to him!!
 

Sync

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Worth testing. I'd be curious to see what he's actually going to ask for review though. Is he going to argue that the failure to hold by-elections is against the constitution? Because....it isn't.
 

SFInbhear

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May 11, 2009
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Its good to see someone from Donegal is upholding democracy. Its a pity most of the county is in the pockets of Fianna Fail and therefore voiceless to raise concerns.
 

Tomas Mor

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Feb 22, 2010
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10,389
Just got this statement.

Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty is in the High Court this morning seeking leave for a judicial review into the failure of the government to hold the Donegal South West by-election.*****
*****
If leave is granted this will be a first step in the battle to force the government to hold the by-election.
*****
Senator Doherty will be available to speak to the media outside the High Court, following the courts decision at approximately 1pm. He will be accompanied by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and the party's Dáil Group Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD.
This is obviously a SF press release quoting things that are to come like press interviews etc. Is this permitted on this forum. BTW I hope he gets a good result in the court, but judiciary are slow to interfere unless law or constitution are actually broken.
 

Sync

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This is obviously a SF press release quoting things that are to come like press interviews etc. Is this permitted on this forum. .
Yes of course it is.
 

Kerrygold

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This is obviously a SF press release quoting things that are to come like press interviews etc. Is this permitted on this forum. BTW I hope he gets a good result in the court, but judiciary are slow to interfere unless law or constitution are actually broken.

Yes it is their statement, as I said in the OP. I don't have a link to it as its not on their website yet.
 

johnfás

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Feb 22, 2007
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Worth testing. I'd be curious to see what he's actually going to ask for review though. Is he going to argue that the failure to hold by-elections is against the constitution? Because....it isn't.
He'll argue that it is unconstitutional because they are not receiving full representation in the constituency. He will likely argue that the ratios of constituents to TDs should be roughly the same throughout the country (as per the Constitution).

However, he will fail. He'll fail because what I have said in my previous paragraph is stretching one of the few constitutional provisions which he could rely on so far that it is out of its context which really is in relation to the setting of constituencies at the time of the general election. He'll fail on the basis that Article 16.7 says that the filling of casual vacancies shall be regulated in accordance with law (as in through legislation, not the constitution). He will also fail on the basis of Article 15.10 which says that the Oireachtas can make its own internal rules (including how they go about calling a byelection). The courts are supremely reluctant to interfere with the rules established by the Oireachtas on matters such as these. The best he can hope for from the point of view of a judgment will be a statement that a byelection must be held within a reasonable period of time - but the courts will unlikely tell you what a reasonable period of time is and likely defer back to the Government to decide themselves.

That said, it is a good move in terms of putting pressure on and it will force the Government to go in and defend their position before the courts... which they likely don't want to do from a PR point of view.
 

johnfás

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Feb 22, 2007
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Is one of the reasons for not holding the by-election the expense of it?
Well if there is a series of court cases, it wont be long before the cost of the court cases could outweigh the costs of holding the by-election.
No I think they were fairly candid that the reason they're not holding them is that they believe they will lose.
 

Rocky

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Dec 9, 2004
Messages
8,550
Full credit to him. For the reasons that Johnfas listed above he will fail, but it will put a lot of pressure on the government and it will be a nightmare for the government to go into the courts and try to defend their grossly undemocratic actions.
 

cricket

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Nov 7, 2009
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I thought that it has already been established that delaying a bye election is not unconstitutional.
 

cricket

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Nov 7, 2009
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14,029
You thought?

I guess this will clarify it for us!
Thinking is an occassional past time I'm finding hard to drop.
Can't remember where or when , but I have a vague memory of another bye election being held off and a constitutional test either failed or was not proceeded with after advice got.
 
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