Green Party splinter group backs TD's High Court challenge to CETA

The Green TD's legal team will argue that Dáil ratification of the deal's Investment Court System could be unconstitutional.
Green Party splinter group backs TD's High Court challenge to CETA

Green Party TD Patrick Costello. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A Green Party splinter group has backed Patrick Costello's High Court challenge to the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement.

Green Party TD Patrick Costello lodged the legal challenge against the State on Monday after receiving legal advice that the controversial CETA deal may need a referendum and could be contrary to the Constitution.

His legal team will argue that Dáil ratification of the Investment Court System could be unconstitutional. The case will argue that the Investment Court System will involve a transfer of sovereignty and of judicial power and that ratification without a referendum would be contrary to the Constitution.

The Just Transition Greens have said the High Court challenge taken by Mr Costello will bring “much-needed clarity on constitutional issues relating to CETA”.

Cathaoirleach at Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council, Úna Power, who is leading the Just Transition Greens campaign against CETA, said: “We welcome this case and commend Deputy Costello and his legal team for bringing it forward. 

This will provide much-needed clarity on constitutional issues relating to CETA. I wish to thank the Deputy for listening to grassroots members and using his position to seek greater scrutiny, as many within the party have been calling for."

She said the Just Transition Greens will continue to campaign against the ratification of the CETA ICS mechanism, be it in a Dáil vote or a referendum. 

"We need to ensure that if a ratification vote is going to happen, that the voters are fully aware of the potential effects of voting in favour of ratification.” 

The Just Transition Greens also welcomed news that the Oireachtas budgetary oversight committee, chaired by Green TD Neasa Hourigan, has agreed to refer the Investment Court System for further analysis on the potential liability to the State if it is ratified. Further consideration of similar dispute mechanisms related to trade agreements may also be included in future committee sessions.

The Just Transition Greens, which includes Ms Hourigan as a member, was set up after the Green Party entered Government in an effort to ensure that Green Party policies are based on the principle of social justice being intrinsically linked to climate justice.

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