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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 26 November, 2014

Direct Democracy Ireland appeal for a no vote in Court of Appeal referendum

The political party say establishing a Court of Appeal will have ‘unintended’ consequences to the justice system.

Courts of justice
Courts of justice

ONE POLITICAL PARTY is calling for a no vote in the referendum on establishing a Court of Appeal.

Direct Democracy Ireland founder, Raymond Whitehead told TheJournal.ie that he will be voting against it, arguing that if this referendum is passed, people won’t have any recourse to the Supreme Court in most cases.

“This is a farce,” said Whitehead.

Democracy deficit

When asked if there was enough debate about the establishment of a Court of Appeal he said the Seanad debate was taking up most of debate time, stating: “It is diversionary. We have a democracy deficit in this country. This will be the final nail in the coffin of this country in terms of democracy and the right to justice.”

He added: “The government want to speed up the justice system, as there are delays in having appeals heard by the Supreme Court. But it will only speed it up in the interests of government and corporate interests. Sometimes democracy can be slow, but shouldn’t we be looking before we leap. Haven’t we learned from the past. Why are we rushing justice. Look where it got us before, rushing in at 3am in the morning with the bank bailout.”

How will it work?

He said he didn’t believe the government had given an adequate outline as how the Court of Appeal would clear the backlog of appeal cases that the Supreme Court is experiencing, adding that the government have not specified what their “plan b” is if it doesn’t get passed.

“What is their plan then, they haven’t told us, so how can they expect us to vote on something when we don’t know the consequences of voting for or against it,” he said.

In their flyer, Direct Democracy state that the long delays in having an appeal to the Supreme Court can be beneficial to mortgage holders in distress as it can delay the repossession process for banks in repossessing homes.

Whitehead said he believed the establishment of a Court of Appeal would have unintended consequences and urged people to get informed.

If you would like more information about the upcoming referendum on October 4, please visit the Referendum 2013 website here.

Read: Here is Alan Shatter’s quick guide to the Court of Appeal referendum>

Column: Irish politics won’t change until people demand accountability from leaders>

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