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Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan lodges High Court case against CETA Trade Deal

She is the second Oireachtas member to take a High Court action against CETA.

Image: Sam Boal

SENATOR LYNN BOYLAN has lodged a High Court case against the Government over the controversial international trade deal CETA. 

The Sinn Féin member initiated court proceedings on June 14 and is seeking a declaration against CETA.

The controversial Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), would remove the vast majority of trade barriers between Canada and the European Union.

Once ratified, CETA will, among other things, allow corporations to sue the Irish State through a new ‘Investor Court System’ over regulatory decisions that negatively impact their profits. Most of the provisions in CETA are already in operation.

The Journal has learned that Boylan is suing the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Enterprise.    

The senator is the second Oireachtas member to take on a court case in relation to CETA as Patrick Costello, Green Party TD in Dublin South Central lodged his case in March.

Both Senator Boylan and her solicitor firm Martin and Grove did not respond to queries.

In a statement a Sinn Féin spokesperson confirmed that Boylan was taking the case and said it was as a private citizen.

“Senator Lynn Boylan is taking the case on CETA as a private individual. She has campaigned on the risks of investor courts in trade treaties since her time as an MEP.

“This case has been in the preparation stage since January and the government were formally notified of her intention to take a case back in March.

“Investor courts are deeply undemocratic and would leave Ireland deeply exposed to challenges in private courts on many aspects of public policy including health, housing and climate,” he said.

 The Dáil vote over CETA saw an internal split in the Green Party as Costello and TD Neasa Hourigan said they would not back the deal. 

A vote to ratify the deal was planned for December 2020 but was further delayed when it was referred to the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs.

The next step for Boylan would be to lodge an affidavit and serve the legal documents on the Government.

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Sinn Féin has confirmed that Boylan will stand as a candidate for the Dublin Bay South by-election.

She previously topped the poll in the 2014 European elections in Dublin but lost her seat in the European Parliament five years later before being elected to the Seanad last year. 

It had been expected that Boylan would run for the Dáil in the nearby Dublin South West in the next general election before this by-election came about due to the departure of Fine Gael’s Eoghan Murphy.  

Additional reporting by Stephen McDermott.

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