Jul 172009
 

The President, Mary McAleese, has decided to consult the Council of State before signing into law the  Defamation Bill 2006 and the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2009.  After this meeting, she will decide whether to refer either of the Bills to the Supreme Court for a decision on whether they contain provisions that are unconstitutional.

This is a power given to the President under Article 26 of the Constitution which states as follows:

The President may, after consultation with the Council of State, refer any Bill to which this Article applies to the Supreme Court for a decision on the question as to whether such Bill or any specified provision or provisions of such Bill is or are repugnant to this Constitution or to any provision thereof.

It also says:

In every case in which the Supreme Court decides that any provision of a Bill the subject of a reference to the Supreme Court under this Article is repugnant to this Constitution or to any provision thereof, the President shall decline to sign such Bill.

Unfortunately, the Constitution says nothing about referring bills to the  Supreme Court to find out if they’re utterly ludicrous, and stupid, like the half-witted blasphemy provision in the Defamation Bill.

The Constitution doesn’t say, for example,

The President may, after consultation with the Council of State, refer any Bill to which this Article applies to the Supreme Court for a decision on the question as to whether such Bill or any specified provision or provisions of such Bill was dreamed up by a fucking idiot.

Nor does it say

In every case in which the Supreme Court decides that any provision of a Bill the subject of a reference to the Supreme Court under this Article was dreamed up by an idiot, the President shall call the Minister a fucking fool and instruct him to fuck off.

However, at least it’s encouraging to see that the President – a barrister and law professor – has sufficient concern to call that meeting. I hope common sense will win through, and this ridiculous and unnecessary law will be kicked out. Otherwise, we’re going to take one more step in Ireland’s weary trudge back to the Dark Ages.

  7 Responses to “President Queries Blasphemy and Criminal Justice Bills”

Comments (6) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    What is worrisome about the blasphemy bill is that the Boardroom in Maynooth wants nothing to do with it. And if not them, then who.

  2.  

    Another encouraging thing is that the President may listen, nod her head* and pay lip service to the Council of State**, then tell them to fuck off and go do what she sees fit. I trust her judgement.

    * Admittedly she is not the great head-nodder her predecessor was.
    ** Members of which include the Taoiseach and Tánaiste whose own minister concocted this idiocy in the first place.

  3.  

    Well the previous Pres was called Noddy, Primal. It’s best to just ignore this bullshit and it will be buried
    away somewhere, the Irish solution to an irish problem. Below is a list of some of the laws that are still technically in place in England.It’s illegal to flag down a cab in London if you have the plague by the way – or to bring a corpse home with you in same. Manys the night I was out on the tear and the drinking buddie was technical dead…in the back of the cab.

    1. It is illegal for a cab in the City of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses.

    2. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

    3. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down.

    4. Royal Navy ships that enter the Port of London must provide a barrel of rum to the Constable of the Tower of London.

    5. In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants – even, if she so requests, in a policeman’s helmet.

    6. In Lancashire, no person is permitted after being asked to stop by a constable on the seashore to incite a dog to bark.

    7. In England, all men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day.

    8. In London, Freemen are allowed to take a flock of sheep across London Bridge without being charged a toll; they are also allowed to drive geese down Cheapside.

    9. In the UK, a man who feels compelled to urinate in public can do so only if he aims for his rear wheel and keeps his right hand on his vehicle.

    10. In Chester, Welshmen are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset.

    11. In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

    12. In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague.

    13. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast is legally the property of the King; the tail, on the other hand, belongs to the Queen – in case she needs the bones for her corset.

  4.  

    I think that the blasphemy bill and the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2009 are ridiculous. The composition of the present Supreme Court lean towards the conservative side. I look forward to see what develops.

  5.  

    I take that back. Sorry.

  6.  

    On reflection, maybe it’s a good thing the Bill didn’t go to the Supreme Court.

    If it had, and if they pronounced it constitutional in its entirety, it would be immune from further challenge.

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