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Legislation needed to end delays in implementing referendum results – Adams

31 July, 2015 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has welcomed the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of two separate challenges to the result of the referendum on Same Sex Marriage but says legislation is needed to ensure future referendum results are not subjected to unnecessary delays before being implemented.

Gerry Adams said:

“I welcome the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of two separate challenges to the result of the referendum on Same Sex Marriage.

“Thursday's court ruling clears the way for the introduction of same-sex marriage in the 26 Counties.

“However what is now clear is the need for legislation to provide the Courts with a reasonable timeframe to ensure the will of the people is not in future subject to bureaucratic delays that undermine democracy.

“While it is the right of any citizen to initiate petitions to the courts, this is not the first time a petition against a referendum resulted in delays to the protection of newly recognised rights.

“The Children’s Referendum was passed on the 10th November 2012 and the High Court only reached a decision on the petition on the 24th of April this year. That’s a two-and-a-half year delay.

“Sinn Féin has published a Bill that seeks to end court delays in deciding on referendum petitions.

“This would amend the Referendum Act 1994 to ensure the High Court will make a finding on such a petition within 90 days of it being heard.

“It further provides that where such a finding is challenged by way of appeal, the Supreme Court shall endeavour to make a finding on a petition no later than 90 days from the date upon which an appeal is lodged.

“The Referendum (Amendment) Bill 2015 would give further protection to citizens’ democratic rights and would tackle what is a clearly an issue within the democratic process.

“I would urge the Government and all parties in the Dáil to support this proposal.”

ENDS

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