President Higgins signs Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Mat
Date: Sun 25th Oct, 2020 | 22:20
President Michael D. Higgins, having given careful consideration to all constitutional and other aspects of the ‘Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020’, and having considered all the options available to him, today signed the Bill, one of four Bills submitted to the President late last week.
The President has followed the passage of this Bill through both Houses of the Oireachtas, and has listened carefully to the debate and the issues raised as to the rights of access to information submitted to a Commission.
While noting that important concerns were raised in the discussion on this Bill which are serious and must be addressed, the Bill itself did not directly raise a constitutional issue suitable for an Art 26.1.1 referral.
When considering any piece of legislation, the President must also be cognisant of Art. 34.3 of Bunreacht na hEireann, which provides that no Court can question the validity of any legislation following a referral by the President to the Supreme Court. The President’s decision to sign this legislation leaves it open to any citizen to challenge the provisions of the Bill in the future.
Note to Editor:
Article 26.1.1 of the Constitution states that ‘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 Bills is or are repugnant to this Constitution or to any provision thereof.’