State argues in High Court that a citizen has no right to challenge Parliament

The David Hall v Ireland (thats you)  case in the High Court, where the founder of LifeLine Ambulances and campaigner for mortgage relief is challenging the legality of the Anglo Promissory Notes, took what seems to me to be a surreal twist today. The basis of his argument is as far as I understand that the Oireachtas didnt vote these wretched scraps into existence they were created by the Minister as an executive act, and as that involves the expenditure of money thats a power reserved to the legislature not the executive.

Coming towards the end of a long day of argument which saw Anne Nolan of the Department of Finance sprung into the witness box as a surprise additional extra, the argument from Michael McDowell ran as follows….The Promissory Notes are a creation of Dail Eireann. David Hall is a citizen. As a mere citizen the state claims that he has no right to in effect act on behalf of the Oireachtas against the Executive. A citizen qua citizen has no role or right to ensure that the two parts act properly. Mmmkaaaay

Mr McDowell further suggested (remember folks, he is acting, legally speaking, for you and me…) that apart from a mere citizen not having any rights to get between the Oireachtas and the Executive, the only people who did were TD’s. The President of the High Court then noted that no TD had stepped up to date.

Now, I Am Not A Lawyer but it seems to me that as a citizen I have not just the right but the duty to hold to account the executive and the legislature if they are acting unconstitutionally. The debate noted the Crotty case, and McDowell (arguing for you people, its for you own good) noted that Crotty was a citizen and the case affected the constitution and thus all citizens. He noted that while the wretched notes had a  “far reaching” impact, it didnt matter whether the executive did the deed or the oireachtas, as the effect would have been the same. In effect this second guesses the Oireachtas saying that it would have created the wretched notes. And hes probably right. But we will never know. It would be sweet to see the government trying to get a vote on these through now….

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19 Responses to State argues in High Court that a citizen has no right to challenge Parliament

  1. V.H says:

    McDowell is misreading what is a tradition and what has become a custom with how the Constitution is framed viz the Citizen, the TD’s&Senators and the government. That the government is made up by TD’s is incidental. It can be entirely made up of senators. The only requirement is that they are members of either house. Is McDowell really saying that such a configuration has no requirement at all to have the imprimatur of those actually elected by the people.
    As far as I can see these powers were assumed rather than conferred. And assumed in a atmosphere of emergency then married to a civil service trained to react to the committee of English people that lived in the houses in the Park.

  2. Peter Pipesmoker says:

    I have often wondered why there is a Second Amendment in the USA Constitution confering the rights on all Citizens to bear Arms given the obvious Dangers to Ordinary People/Citizens of Serious Firepower ending up in the wrong hands.
    Now I Understand ! When you see the Capacity of EU Governments to take Unjust Quasi Democratic decisions at best, against the Majority of Ordinary Citizens interests, for the Benefit of Outside Entities, couching their Arguments in the kind of Convuluted Crap that McDowell has just used against David Hall’s Challange to the Promissory Notes Heist, you can see where the Founding Fathers figured out it might be a good check on the Abuse of Government Power to have an Armed Citizenry. Might make TDs very happy to be passing Draconian Laws in a Sheeps Pen like Ireland where the worst of all they have to face is a bit of Abuse and Spleen Venting on Facebook and Twitter. Given what they have done to Young People lives with Kids and Mortgages and even unborn future Generations they are getting off very light. Certainly the thought that before they vote for things like Property Tax or Service Closures that someone may be calling to their Clinic or Homes to try out, say their new Tesco special offer AK47, would concentrate minds greatly on whether it was the right decision. Ultimately its hard to see now what the Ordinary Citizen can do to challange Abuse of Government Power. We can all see voting doesn’t or won’t change much. Just a few Observations . Yours Sincerely Peter PipeSmoker.

  3. Dave says:

    Why is this not on the tv news.

  4. Anton says:

    It would be an extremely sad day for Democracy in Ireland if Michael McDowell’s arguement was to be accepted.If a Citizen has duties and obligations in all other spheres of life in Ireland then I cannot see , logically , why He/She does not have the right to seek to enforce the law against maladministration by those purporting to act on behalf of the State ! Part of the problem is that “The State” and those within it ( mainly the Politicians in the Oireachtas , The President , The Judiciary and the Senior Civil Servants known as Mandarins) perceive themselves to be superior to and above the ordinary Citizen or indeed Nation. David Hall’s action is perfectly reasonable to Me . The Dail in particular is charged with specific duties to initiate or approve certain acts by the Government of the day and if they , the Members of the Oireachtas , refuse to or are negligent in thier duties to do so then it must be open to the Citizen to intitiate such actions to enforce compliance with the Law of the Land !

  5. Gr says:

    yes Irish democracy you can challenge the right to life but you can’t challenge their right to rob from the poor to pay the rich this country need to wake up and fight or future generations will pay for the greed and corruption of the few. This government and traitorous predecessors need to be removed as their agenda is more communist that democratic.

  6. austbe says:

    Considering the dominant political party in power at this time, aligned with the fact that they where also in power during the rewriting of the 1922 Constitution in 1937 where, the rights of ordinary Irish people to call a referendum was removed (without referendum mind you) and replaced with the right to referendum retained by government, I can understand why McDowell would have this belief. It is clearly a contempt for the Irish people and their capacity to understand the injustices foisted upon them in their name!
    Fortunately we are an educated nation and educating ourselve’s more everyday, we no longer come to the fray armed with pitchforks, we will prevail an we will beat them in their arena, the courts and at the ballot box.
    If the right to call a referendum still rested with the individual people of Ireland in Sept 2008 I believe the conversation on Kildare Street would have gone somewhat differently!
    Why settle for representative democracy when we can have Direct Democracy.

  7. austbe says:

    Reblogged this on Awaken Longford and commented:
    This issue boils down to how the elite and public representatives in our society view the ordinary Irish people. There is a simple answer to this and other similar matters, in fact all matters which affect all Irish People. it is Direct Democracy, why settle for Representative Democracy when we can have Direct Democracy!

  8. machholz says:

    Reblogged this on Machholz's Blog and commented:
    This is how arrogant our political class have become they are now seriously defending their right to exclude the ordinary Joe from challenging their right to impose their corrupt laws and the odious debts of gangsters on to the shoulders of the Irish citizen ! We must not allow this outrageous notion, that we the citizens do not have the right to challenge them.
    Taxation with representation was the cause of the American revolution .If this attempt to steal one of our fundamental democratic rights is up held by the courts then ,brother bring on open revolt against this puppet government and this corrupt and self-serving gombeen infested political system

  9. Micky Mac says:

    Enda Kenny yesterday stated that the Promissory Notes required us to pay 3billion per annum until 2033. He never even batted an eyelid as if it was a credit union loan. These elected self-styled dictators have not the guts to challenge the ECB or Merkel, and the bust will cost Ireland 43% of the total EU bailouts, how’s about that for sharing the burden with our fellow euro dictators. Democracy is gone, how is it that people cannot see this. We only exercise our democracy at election times, this apparently grants the elected ones more power than the people, an impossibility. The people cannot give more power than they themselves already have. The creator must be greater than the created.
    The only way to even attempt to solve this elitism is to return to the people the power that was removed by stealth from our constitution.

  10. Scofflaw says:

    Conspiracy theory and proper outrage aside, I suspect McDowell has a good case here. There really is no provision in Bunreacht for the citizen to challenge executive actions of the government, unless we count Article 6.1. On the contrary, there is an explicit statement that the executive is responsible to the Dáil:

    “28.4.1° The Government shall be responsible to Dáil Éireann.”

    As far as I can see, that’s a very solid foundation for McDowell’s case. In a sense, we should perhaps thank him for highlighting the appalling centralisation of power in the State – we know that the Dáil is, in effect, thanks to the Whip system and the executive’s control of state appointments, subservient to the executive, and McDowell’s case should highlight to the public exactly why this is so incredibly dangerous – we have a situation where the executive is responsible only to a body which it already dominates.

    cordially,
    Scofflaw

  11. opus diablos says:

    All Punch and Judy show business…the Dept of Finance are the implementers for the Troika(and run the ‘government’).
    If you want details as to how the program was reinstalled get a copy of John M Regan’s ‘The Irish Counter-Revolution, 1921-36: Treatyite Politics and Settlement in Independent Ireland’.
    So the imperial baton was passed to Brussells…that too is smoke and mirrors for IMF totalitarian dictatorship of the transnational corporatariat. Try a copy of Michel Chossudovsky’s(Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa)’The Globalisation of Poverty, Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms’.
    Popcorn, anyone?

  12. andnow says:

    Should McDo Wells defense be,”I say this is a matter of accountancy, I appointed the bankers and the judges, and there is nothing in the constitution that says the taxpayer shouldn’t pay. to suggest otherwise would be a conflict in terms?

  13. Brian says:

    This case is a farce and so is the state’s case.
    The judge washed his hands of it and kicked it up stairs
    It holds the politician above the people
    It says there is no need for any government to have debate in the house on any issue.
    It had to be kicked upstairs.
    You had the ridicules situation of the state defending a case been seen over by a judge representing the state.
    That’s how screwed up the law in this state has become

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