January 28, 2018
The Social Democrats have today reiterated their call for the Attorney General’s advice on wording of the amendment to repeal the 8th to be published without delay.
“Citizens of Ireland will make a decision shortly on repealing the 8th Amendment. If the 8th Amendment is repealed, legislation to allow for abortion in certain circumstances will be brought before the Oireachtas. It is imperative that there be clarity on the powers of the Oireachtas to legislate based on the decision of the people” said Catherine Murphy T.D., joint leader of the Social Democrats.
“The Oireachtas Committee on the 8th Amendment carefully considered the question of the wording of a referendum, having had access to robust legal advice. They recommended that ‘repeal simpliciter’ be the question put to the people”, continued Murphy, who was a member of the committee.
“The Attorney General’s advice to the Government on the referendum wording should be published, and subject to rigorous analysis.”
“In 1983 the Attorney Generals legal advice was published in advance of the referendum. The public need to see the advice on which the Government will base their decision on this very important issue.”
“We have long said that the Constitution is not the place to deal with these issues – that’s what the legislature is for. There is majority public support for the holding of a referendum and there has been a rigorous process in the Oireachtas Committee and at the Citizens Assembly which has brought us to this point. It is surely possible for all legal advice to be analysed openly and transparently and a referendum put to the people by the Summer”, concluded Deputy Murphy.