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Brid Smith comments on High Court Judge

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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,479 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    Mod note:

    I've changed the thread title to reflect the topic.

    OP, you might need to maybe put in a bit more to start the discussion. Charlie Flannagan isn't really getting between the Judiciary and Brid Smith, he is pointing out that it is not appropriate for her to attack a Judge in this manner. But there may well be merit in discussing whether Politicans can or should discuss individual decisions and the Judges who make them.

    Obviously as per the charter, a high standard of debate is required, and no name calling, insults etc. That applies to public figures as much as it applies to other posters!


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,197 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/row-as-charlie-flanagan-accuses-td-of-sinister-attack-on-judge-39315743.html


    I was just reading this, i do not really understand what it is all about but want to ask.


    If as we are told the Government and the Judiciary are completely separate.


    Why did Charlie Flanagan get involved in a spat between the Judiciary and Ms Brid Smith. Is this part of his brief??
    He's pointing out that the legislature and the judiciary are completely separate. Legislators should no more be pronouncing what judgments the courts should give than Ministers should.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,050 ✭✭✭joeguevara


    A judges salary is irrelevant in this situation. If she disagreed in the judgment, attack that. It is a way of creating even more of a divide by making a personal attack. In my opinion it is incorrect and causes unnecessary tension. As standing minister for justice it was proper for him to call it out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,090 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious


    And she doubled down on it with her response to Flannigan with something like "typical FG, always looking out for the elite..."

    Brid Smith is in her second term as a TD.

    You'd think she would know where the line is at this stage.
    Or maybe she does and just likes crossing it anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,000 ✭✭✭Hubertj


    SNIP. No more petty insults please.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 437 ✭✭Robert McGrath


    What’s worse is that instead of taking an opportunity to legitimately criticise the government, she’s opted for this populist nonsense. She could coherently say that the government has failed in its duty by passing an unconstitutional law. But that would take some level of nuance and analysis ...


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,535 ✭✭✭Topgear on Dave


    Brid is more comfortable out on a protest with a megaphone.

    Now she's going to have to sit down, do her job and legislate to fix it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭BaronVon


    It is completely inappropriate, and typical of what we have seen in the UK and elsewhere. It's either a populist rant to appeal to her fanbase, or it's genuine ignorance of the rule of law and the democratic principles of the State......


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,399 ✭✭✭Rosahane


    BaronVon wrote: »
    It is completely inappropriate, and typical of what we have seen in the UK and elsewhere. It's either a populist rant to appeal to her fanbase, or it's genuine ignorance of the rule of law and the democratic principles of the State......

    Probably both in her case!


  • Registered Users Posts: 987 ✭✭✭Notmything


    And she doubled down on it with her response to Flannigan with something like "typical FG, always looking out for the elite..."

    Brid Smith is in her second term as a TD.

    You'd think she would know where the line is at this stage.
    Or maybe she does and just likes crossing it anyway.

    Imo crossing that line is win/win for her. If she makes her statement and no one pulls her on it she wins as her claim is "perceived" to be right.

    If, as has happened, she is tackled then she claims it's about those in power protecting their position to the cost of ordinary workers, who she is standing up for.

    Her supporters are not concerned about separation of powers, and just see her being attacked by the establishment, reinforcing the efforts to create a permanent divide within society.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,426 ✭✭✭maestroamado


    I am a bit confused with this.
    When was this law on pay rates made?
    I was not aware there were any law on pay rates other than min pay?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,000 ✭✭✭Hubertj


    Notmything wrote: »
    Imo crossing that line is win/win for her. If she makes her statement and no one pulls her on it she wins as her claim is "perceived" to be right.

    If, as has happened, she is tackled then she claims it's about those in power protecting their position to the cost of ordinary workers, who she is standing up for.

    Her supporters are not concerned about separation of powers, and just see her being attacked by the establishment, reinforcing the efforts to create a permanent divide within society.

    I agree, the risk is that the type of people that support her will now target judges, solicitors, barristers etc similar to what these people did during water charge protests.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,147 ✭✭✭✭Geuze


    I am a bit confused with this.
    When was this law on pay rates made?
    I was not aware there were any law on pay rates other than min pay?

    For decades there have been JLCs / REAs, etc.

    https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/employment_rights_and_conditions/industrial_relations_and_trade_unions/employment_regulation_orders_and_registered_employment_agreements.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,875 ✭✭✭Edgware


    And she doubled down on it with her response to Flannigan with something like "typical FG, always looking out for the elite..."

    Brid Smith is in her second term as a TD.

    You'd think she would know where the line is at this stage.
    Or maybe she does and just likes crossing it anyway.
    She is just like a number of other T.D.s in the Dail. Forever whinging, nothing positive to say and waiting for the Revolution which will cure all ills in society much like it did in North Korea. Having fools like her, Murphy and Barrett in the Dail is the price we pay for democracy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,744 ✭✭✭marieholmfan


    Mod note:

    I've changed the thread title to reflect the topic.

    OP, you might need to maybe put in a bit more to start the discussion. Charlie Flannagan isn't really getting between the Judiciary and Brid Smith, he is pointing out that it is not appropriate for her to attack a Judge in this manner. But there may well be merit in discussing whether Politicans can or should discuss individual decisions and the Judges who make them.

    Obviously as per the charter, a high standard of debate is required, and no name calling, insults etc. That applies to public figures as much as it applies to other posters!

    He is asserting that. He isn't 'pointing it out'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,197 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    I think to say that he was asserting it would imiply that he was arguing for a novel or contested proposition. But he isn't; the separation of powers is a fundamental and long-established constitutional principle. and one that Dail Eireann itself has invoked. He's "asserting" that deputies shouldn't second-guess judicial decisions in much the way that a doctor might "assert" that washing your hands has hygienic and health benefits.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,445 ✭✭✭Rodney Bathgate


    Hubertj wrote: »
    I agree, the risk is that the type of people that support her will now target judges, solicitors, barristers etc similar to what these people did during water charge protests.

    The sort of scum who will protest outside a politicians house.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,744 ✭✭✭marieholmfan


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    I think to say that he was asserting it would imiply that he was arguing for a novel or contested proposition. But he isn't; the separation of powers is a fundamental and long-established constitutional principle. and one that Dail Eireann itself has invoked. He's "asserting" that deputies shouldn't second-guess judicial decisions in much the way that a doctor might "assert" that washing your hands has hygienic and health benefits.

    Nonsense. I would suggest in fact that in this case the judiciary and the parties of the right are more like the Austrian medical establishment and Brid Smith is like Ignaz Semmelweis. After all sunlight is the best disinfectanct and if Garret Simons has nothing to hide he has nothing to fear

    The age of freedom of contract is over and his judgement is bizarre. If there is no culture whatsoever of critical jurisprudence in Ireland; and with the exception of 'Prison Law' by Paul Anthony McDermott I've never heard of any; then it stands to reason that 'someone' has to keep an eye on the judges.

    Like seriously is he attacking the very idea of statutory instruments?


  • Registered Users Posts: 859 ✭✭✭Randy Archer


    Nonsense. I would suggest in fact that in this case the judiciary and the parties of the right are more like the Austrian medical establishment and Brid Smith is like Ignaz Semmelweis. After all sunlight is the best disinfectanct and if Garret Simons has nothing to hide he has nothing to fear

    The age of freedom of contract is over and his judgement is bizarre. If there is no culture whatsoever of critical jurisprudence in Ireland; and with the exception of 'Prison Law' by Paul Anthony McDermott I've never heard of any; then it stands to reason that 'someone' has to keep an eye on the judges.

    Like seriously is he attacking the very idea of statutory instruments?

    You seriously need to pick up the Constitution and perhaps purchase a book on the separation of powers by someone like David Gywn Morgan . You couldn’t be so wrong . As for judicial criticism , eh, it goes on in every monthly law view journal and the Law Reform Commission come together regularly when reviewing the law . Moreover, and more importantly , judges themselves at appeal or in another case (looking at precedent) can reject the views of their colleagues in matters in the strongest of terms - Hardiman J was good for that, Mckenchie has often strongly disagreed with his colleagues in his judgments

    The Courts , themselves, are expected to take great care on not stepping on the toes of the democratically elected government and Parliament of the day , in their judgments , and rightly so . Thus, Parliament , especially members like Smith who are very wet behind the ears on the rule of law , shouldn’t be allowed to jump on Ill in formed populist soap boxes.

    Brid, bless her, could have stood up in the dail and decry for the need to reform the offending legislation that was before the court ... but nah, she took the easy way out waffling about elites etc . Last thing we want are politicians with zero qualifications to be dictating the law (outside actual legislating ) to our courts .

    God forbid she would draft up some private member bill , something useful like what Mick Wallace (for all his faults) Ming and Claire Daly were known for doing and trying


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,744 ✭✭✭marieholmfan


    If this criticism is in fact invalid then it can be addressed as such. The notion that a judge appointed by a right wing government with no process or oversight is in some sense outside politics is absurd.


    You seriously need to pick up the Constitution and perhaps purchase a book on the separation of powers by someone like David Gywn Morgan . You couldn’t be so wrong . As for judicial criticism , eh, it goes on in every monthly law view journal and the Law Reform Commission come together regularly when reviewing the law . Moreover, and more importantly , judges themselves at appeal or in another case (looking at precedent) can reject the views of their colleagues in matters in the strongest of terms - Hardiman J was good for that, Mckenchie has often strongly disagreed with his colleagues in his judgments

    The Courts , themselves, are expected to take great care on not stepping on the toes of the democratically elected government and Parliament of the day , in their judgments , and rightly so . Thus, Parliament , especially members like Smith who are very wet behind the ears on the rule of law , shouldn’t be allowed to jump on Ill in formed populist soap boxes.

    Brid, bless her, could have stood up in the dail and decry for the need to reform the offending legislation that was before the court ... but nah, she took the easy way out waffling about elites etc . Last thing we want are politicians with zero qualifications to be dictating the law (outside actual legislating ) to our courts .

    God forbid she would draft up some private member bill , something useful like what Mick Wallace (for all his faults) Ming and Claire Daly were known for doing and trying


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 25,790 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl


    If this criticism is in fact invalid then it can be addressed as such. The notion that a judge appointed by a right wing government with no process or oversight is in some sense outside politics is absurd.

    She offered no valid criticism full stop. She offered no criticism outside of her not liking the judgement. She can point to no fallacious or contentious interpretation of law. She is, in essence, criticising a judge for not taking the law into his own hands and putting forth what she considers the "right" judgement. A judgement she desires based on the outcome rather than the process.

    Not only is she undermining the separation of powers by the very existence of her comments, she is undermining it by the content also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,000 ✭✭✭Hubertj


    If this criticism is in fact invalid then it can be addressed as such. The notion that a judge appointed by a right wing government with no process or oversight is in some sense outside politics is absurd.

    If you consider the government to be right wing you clearly won’t/don’t understand what has happened.
    The judge did nothing wrong. Smith has decided that the judge made a personal decision in the case. This clearly makes accusations about his integrity and professionalism. Unfortunately the type of people that vote for her believe the nonsense she comes out with.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    If this criticism is in fact invalid then it can be addressed as such. The notion that a judge appointed by a right wing government with no process or oversight is in some sense outside politics is absurd.

    You are making a fairly serious accusation against the judge and court system in general. You are saying decisions are make based their perceived political implications/merits and not established legal principles.

    Ironically Brid Smith dissatisfaction is entirety political. She didn't like the outcome. However instead of doing her job as a TD and preparing a private members bill to achieve her goals by legal means she calls on the courts to make political decisions not legal ones. The separation of powers is critically important.

    The legal system should be independent of the government of the day. Look at any authoritarian government and you'll see the dangers. Even where the separation of powers does exist its dangerous to politicise the judiciary. Look at the USA where while judges are independent their appointment process has become very political.

    Remember Brid Smith is a member of party whose ideology more or less mandates authoritarianism and has a long history of supporting dictators and human rights abusers. Making statements that undermine an independent legal system does nothing to disspell the notion that given the chance her party would follow route.


  • Registered Users Posts: 859 ✭✭✭Randy Archer


    If this criticism is in fact invalid then it can be addressed as such. The notion that a judge appointed by a right wing government with no process or oversight is in some sense outside politics is absurd.

    Judges are primarily picked based on their careers as barristers and solicitors . Over the course of 20-30 years they would have represented people and companies of ALL walks of life and politics and background .

    Judges , who as barristers who got briefs from governments of the day or even act as Attorney Generals or even once was a member or TD for a political party have a long history of being prepared to rule against governments . Hardiman J was a die in the wool PD , yet , often ruled against the government in criminal law matters and did so extremely heavily , in legendary fashion .

    Our current Chief Justice would have been a FG man but one of the Costello FG types and has a long history of showing concern in cases about the less well off and is pretty passionate about changed to improve access to courts for legal aid , it at the same time is capable of dealing with complex corporate matters without acting like some commie shill . Labour have over the decades had a disportionate amount of their guys and girls become High Court judges compared to the the time labour were in government and they have never been shy from using their independence as judges and lawyers . Guess what folks , judges are capable of being independent and get away from their normal political bias . But they can’t just ignore precedent from other cases or long established principals of law

    That still doesn’t deal with the fact that judges, be they conservative or liberal or middle of the road can only deal with the facts before them and what the law says and the established principles on interpreting the law . Days of judicial activism come and go .

    Oversight ? By who ? Some gob****e glorified county councillor or some mega phone career protester (Brid) whose politics actually completely against what the majority of Irish people stand for , having any say in who is selected for the judiciary . They ain’t remotely qualified . And based on what Brid actually said , proves that she simply doesn’t understand how the law and governance work

    Separation of powers and mutual respect between the courts and the oireachtas is real and vital . As judges aren’t and shouldn’t be elected by the people (most of whom can’t be trusted to manage a piss up in a brewery or vote In a. Referendum based on facts ) there is only so much a court can and should do in areas that are more suited to lobbying the government or public campaign and protest over . (Where the law is clear what the limits are) likewise fools like Brid Smith mouthing off about people and matters that she has not got a clue about

    Smith made groundless claims and highlighted her ignorance . Even Paul Murphy didn’t stoop to this level (I think he has some sort of legal qualification ) And she’s a legislator ? Oh Christ

    As I said , the best reaction would have been for her to do what Ming , Daly and Wallace did - campaign for private members bills and campaign and talk about law reform . But nah . Mega phone protesting is her bag

    In the words of another TD who disrespected the separation of powers division of a former President ... Brid Smith “is a thundering disgrace”


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,744 ✭✭✭marieholmfan


    A millionaire who spent his career advising property developers on how to finagle the planning regulations will have a different view on how society should be structured than a woman who has spent her life fighting for the disadvantaged,

    Judges are human and have human biases.
    They possess a lot of property and will always serve the interests of the propertied (judges as a class - it must be merely coincidence that Garret Simons in his judgment here serves the interests of the rich against the poor or at least the middling).

    That's why we get the bizarre lissadell judgement or the equally bizarre Thomas Reid judgement.

    Adrian Hardiman was like a cancer in the Irish legal system; he was the foot in the boot stamping on the face of the poor.

    I don't accept for one second that the Irish legal system is independent in any meaningful sense. It exists to protect the rich and to punish the poor.

    PeadarCo wrote: »
    You are making a fairly serious accusation against the judge and court system in general. You are saying decisions are make based their perceived political implications/merits and not established legal principles.

    Ironically Brid Smith dissatisfaction is entirety political. She didn't like the outcome. However instead of doing her job as a TD and preparing a private members bill to achieve her goals by legal means she calls on the courts to make political decisions not legal ones. The separation of powers is critically important.

    The legal system should be independent of the government of the day. Look at any authoritarian government and you'll see the dangers. Even where the separation of powers does exist its dangerous to politicise the judiciary. Look at the USA where while judges are independent their appointment process has become very political.

    Remember Brid Smith is a member of party whose ideology more or less mandates authoritarianism and has a long history of supporting dictators and human rights abusers. Making statements that undermine an independent legal system does nothing to disspell the notion that given the chance her party would follow route.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,050 ✭✭✭joeguevara


    A millionaire who spent his career advising property developers on how to finagle the planning regulations will have a different view on how society should be structured than a woman who has spent her life fighting for the disadvantaged,

    Judges are human and have human biases.
    They possess a lot of property and will always serve the interests of the propertied (judges as a class - it must be merely coincidence that Garret Simons in his judgment here serves the interests of the rich against the poor or at least the middling).

    That's why we get the bizarre lissadell judgement or the equally bizarre Thomas Reid judgement.

    Adrian Hardiman was like a cancer in the Irish legal system; he was the foot in the boot stamping on the face of the poor.

    I don't accept for one second that the Irish legal system is independent in any meaningful sense. It exists to protect the rich and to punish the poor.

    You talk absolute sh1te. Firstly a judge will make less money than he/she did as a barrister. Also, there is a little thing called legal precedent, persuasive law and legislation that they must follow. They don't just decide cases on a whim. Sick of all this punish the poor bs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,764 ✭✭✭✭VinLieger


    joeguevara wrote: »
    You talk absolute sh1te. Firstly a judge will make less money than he/she did as a barrister. Also, there is a little thing called legal precedent, persuasive law and legislation that they must follow. They don't just decide cases on a whim. Sick of all this punish the poor bs.


    Its classic projection. Brid and her supporters are just projecting how they would want to act if they were in this judges position and rule in favour of their own causes regardless of the actual limitations and restrictions of the law.

    They assume because its what they would do its what everyone already does.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭BaronVon


    A millionaire who spent his career advising property developers on how to finagle the planning regulations will have a different view on how society should be structured than a woman who has spent her life fighting for the disadvantaged,

    Judges are human and have human biases.
    They possess a lot of property and will always serve the interests of the propertied (judges as a class - it must be merely coincidence that Garret Simons in his judgment here serves the interests of the rich against the poor or at least the middling).

    That's why we get the bizarre lissadell judgement or the equally bizarre Thomas Reid judgement.

    Adrian Hardiman was like a cancer in the Irish legal system; he was the foot in the boot stamping on the face of the poor.

    I don't accept for one second that the Irish legal system is independent in any meaningful sense. It exists to protect the rich and to punish the poor.

    Wow......

    Thankfully we have judges who follow the rule of law, or else we'd have your communist utopia instead.......

    Yes, judges are normally from fairly privileged sectors of society, and yes we all have some forms of bias, but it does not mean that judges aren't aware of these things, and are incapable, or unwilling, to take these factors into account when making a judgement.

    I haven't read this judgement, but things like this happen all the time. Isn't it a wonderful part of a fully functioning democracy that we have judges who can rule that the government have passed bad law, and tell them that it needs changing.

    And that's what will happen, the competent legislators will get together, identify the issues with the previous statute, and remedy them. And others will just mouth off with ignorant soundbites......


  • Registered Users Posts: 859 ✭✭✭Randy Archer


    A millionaire who spent his career advising property developers on how to finagle the planning regulations will have a different view on how society should be structured than a woman who has spent her life fighting for the disadvantaged,

    Judges are human and have human biases.
    They possess a lot of property and will always serve the interests of the propertied (judges as a class - it must be merely coincidence that Garret Simons in his judgment here serves the interests of the rich against the poor or at least the middling).

    That's why we get the bizarre lissadell judgement or the equally bizarre Thomas Reid judgement.

    Adrian Hardiman was like a cancer in the Irish legal system; he was the foot in the boot stamping on the face of the poor.

    I don't accept for one second that the Irish legal system is independent in any meaningful sense. It exists to protect the rich and to punish the poor.

    Brid Smith has done sfa . Writing strongly worded and angry letters and roaring through a mega phone does and did little. What has she done ?

    As bad as Mick Wallace was, outside the Dail, he, Clare Daly and Ming tried to act like legislators and were active in serious attempts to bring in legislation that affect people . They even got a few key changes over the line

    Brid ? Not so much

    As for your scurrilous claims “how to finagle the planning legislation” , eh what ?

    Planning legislation effects every person who owns property , from the humble home owner who wants to extend their house to property speculators . Planning legislation is complex and there are exemptions in place for different scenarios . It’s also a greatly onerous system (as it should be) Not every piece of legislation is well thought out , sometimes it badly needs reform , legitimately spotting loopholes , due to the legislator’s (ie people like Brid) oversight is not wrong or something shady

    You have nothing to back up those comments

    Time and time again , any decent Labour TD eg Ruairi Quinn came from middle class backgrounds . Look at Mary Robinson ffs , as a lawyer . The “wurking” class , like Brid, can’t organise a piss up in a brewery . Hell Richard Boyd Barrett and Paul Murphy can’t be said to ever have been paupers . Least Barrett appears genuine in his concerns and tries to offer alternatives

    You really don’t know what you are talking about with regard to the legal system . The legal system by the way is primarily legislated by Parliament who in turn are elected by the people. The people are also the final arbitrators of bunreacht an heireann .

    The people have and will continue , in the majority to reject socialism

    If you want to be taken seriously , understand what a judge does and what they can’t do

    Oddly enough, a few years ago we have two referendums that would have interfered with the Independence of the Court - giving more power to the Oireachtas to investigate and cross examine people and judges pay. Guess what ? The majority of the public rejected both proposals and recognise the importance of judicial independence


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution


    Brid Smith has done sfa . Writing strongly worded and angry letters and roaring through a mega phone does and did little. What has she done ?

    As bad as Mick Wallace was, outside the Dail, he, Clare Daly and Ming tried to act like legislators and were active in serious attempts to bring in legislation that affect people . They even got a few key changes over the line

    Brid ? Not so much

    As for your scurrilous claims “how to finagle the planning legislation” , eh what ?

    Planning legislation effects every person who owns property , from the humble home owner who wants to extend their house to property speculators . Planning legislation is complex and there are exemptions in place for different scenarios . It’s also a greatly onerous system (as it should be) Not every piece of legislation is well thought out , sometimes it badly needs reform , legitimately spotting loopholes , due to the legislator’s (ie people like Brid) oversight is not wrong or something shady

    You have nothing to back up those comments

    Time and time again , any decent Labour TD eg Ruairi Quinn came from middle class backgrounds . Look at Mary Robinson ffs , as a lawyer . The “wurking” class , like Brid, can’t organise a piss up in a brewery . Hell Richard Boyd Barrett and Paul Murphy can’t be said to ever have been paupers . Least Barrett appears genuine in his concerns and tries to offer alternatives

    You really don’t know what you are talking about with regard to the legal system . The legal system by the way is primarily legislated by Parliament who in turn are elected by the people. The people are also the final arbitrators of bunreacht an heireann .

    The people have and will continue , in the majority to reject socialism

    If you want to be taken seriously , understand what a judge does and what they can’t do

    Oddly enough, a few years ago we have two referendums that would have interfered with the Independence of the Court - giving more power to the Oireachtas to investigate and cross examine people and judges pay. Guess what ? The majority of the public rejected both proposals and recognise the importance of judicial independence


    While I agree with the gist of your post, the public did approve the amendment on judges' pay in 2011.


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