High Court rejects Thomas Pringle's claim that the ESM treaty is unconstitutional

Monday 09 July 2012 21.50
Thomas Pringle to appeal the decision in relation to the constitutionality and validity
Thomas Pringle to appeal the decision in relation to the constitutionality and validity

The High Court has rejected a claim by Independent TD Thomas Pringle that the European Stability Mechanism Treaty is unconstitutional and incompatible with EU law.

However the court has decided to refer a legal issue relating to member states' approval of the ESM to the European Court of Justice.

Mr Pringle has said he intends to appeal Ms Justice Mary Laffoy's decision in relation to the constitutionality and validity of the ESM treaty to the Supreme Court.

Thomas Pringle's lawyers claimed the treaty was incompatible with the Constitution and with EU law.

They had argued that the treaty, which provides for a €500bn permanent rescue fund for the 17 member states using the euro, raised matters of enormous importance for the State.

However Ms Justice Laffoy ruled against Mr Pringle. She said she was satisfied participation in the ESM treaty would not involve any lessening of sovereignty or transfer of sovereignty to the European Stability Mechanism or other members of the ESM.

She said she was satisfied the decision by the European Council in March last year, which allowed member states in the euro to establish such a mechanism, was completely valid in accordance with EU law.

And she rejected Mr Pringle's claim that a referendum was needed in Ireland to give effect to the decision.

She decided to refer one issue raised by Mr Pringle's legal team to the European Court of Justice.

She will ask the ECJ to rule on the effect and operability of the ESM if one or more member states do not give notice that they intend to approve the decision to establish the ESM.

The judge has not yet issued her full ruling, but after studying a summary of her findings Mr Pringle said he and his lawyers intended to appeal.

Both sides will ask the Supreme Court in the morning to hear the appeal at the earliest opportunity.

The court was told both sides want the matter to be heard before the legal term ends at the end of this month.

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