Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Thousands died for the Irish state - Europe just erased their sacrifice

By Gary Johns - posted Monday, 19 June 2017


As you read this column I will be on a ferry from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Cairnryan, Scotland, which is a good place from which to contemplate the state of Britain.

Prime Minister Theresa May's big gamble failed. The temptation to go with an opponent as pathetic as Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership was too great. But no use grumbling or chasing the next piece of political intrigue. The ­lesson for politicians is to get on with the job.

May's government will carry on after agreement on confidence and supply with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party.

Advertisement

Brexit will proceed. What is difficult to predict is its scope. For example, the Scottish Conservatives increased from one seat to 13 in the election at the expense of the Scottish National Party, putting paid to Scottish separatist urges. As for Ireland, had the Conservatives obtained a large majority Brexit negotiations might have resulted in a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland may have voted for reunification to avoid the hard border. As it is, the DUP, which is pro-Brexit, wants a soft border, no Customs points or passport checks, thus foreclosing the urge to reunify.

Britain may not be sure what sort of Brexit it wants but it is clear that restoring the primacy of British law, and control of borders, is paramount.

Both issues are summed up in the question of the continuing rights of EU citizens and access to European courts. This will be one of the essential sticking points of the negotiations between the EU and the British government.

Right on time, the Supreme Court of Ireland has provided the perfect case study of overweening courts and human rights in the ­European pond. The "interim" decision in NVH v Minister for Justice & Equality considered an asylum-seeker's right to work, denied him by the Irish government.

Irish law is in the common law tradition but, as it is part of Europe, ­appeals are heard to European courts.

Advertisement

The asylum-seeker's cause was supported by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, which sought a declaration of the incompatibility of the government's decision with the Charter of the European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the constitution.

The argument was whether a non-citizen, and in particular an asylum-seeker without any other connection to the state, had any right guaranteed by the constitution of Ireland and, if so, "the ­unenumerated constitutional right to work".

There was debate whether the Irish constitution contained an enforceable right to work: the court decided it might contain a right to seek work.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

This article was first published in The Australian.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

6 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Gary Johns is a former federal member of Parliament and served as a minister in the Keating Government. Since December 2017 he has been the commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Gary Johns

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Gary Johns
Article Tools
Comment 6 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy