The Dublin man who lost his High Court challenge to the Government's Children's Referendum information campaign is now appealing the decision to the Supreme Court.
Lawyers for Mark McCrystal, of Kilbarrack Road, Dublin 5, appeared before the Supreme Court today after the High Court this morning rejected his claim that the campaign was biased towards a Yes vote.
Mr McCrystal asked the Supreme Court to treat the matter with a high level of priority given the timeframe concerned.
Chief Justice Ms Susan Denham granted a priority hearing date of next Tuesday, 6 November.
The referendum is to be held on Saturday 10 November.
The Chief Justice directed Mark McCrystal to file formal notice of appeal and appropriate papers to the Supreme Court tomorrow morning in advance of Tuesday's hearing.
The High Court this morning ruled that there was no bias in the Government's information campaign.
High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns rejected Mr McCrystal's action.
Mr McCrystal had claimed the Government's information campaign was designed, intended and likely to promote a particular outcome in the referendum.
He brought the High Court action against the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, the Government and the Attorney General, claiming that over €1.1m of public money was being used to encourage a Yes vote in the referendum.
Delivering judgment, Mr Justice Kearns rejected Mr McCrystal's claims, saying he was satisfied that the campaign was neutral and balanced, and that its primary aim was to inform the public about the referendum.
He said the Government's campaign could not be said to plainly favour a particular outcome and so it could not be said to be unconstitutional or wrongful.
Mr Justice Kearns rejected Mr McCrystal's claim that the Government's television, radio and print media advertisements encouraged a Yes vote and described them as "particularly inoffensive".
He said they could not be interpreted to sway voters in any way other than in encouraging them to vote.
In relation to the information booklet that had been circulated to homes, Mr Justice Kearns said he accepted that it did not advocate a particular outcome, but instead provided information for an informed debate.
He said the content of the booklet could not be characterised as a clear constitutional abuse or a suggestion to vote in a particular way.
Mr McCrystal had also raised objections to the campaign website, which features pictures of children and the word 'vote' in a child's handwriting style.
In his ruling, Mr Justice Kearns said in a referendum on children's rights, the use of images of children or a handwriting style could not be said to promote one side over another.
Mr Justice Kearns also advised that a new approach should be considered in relation to information campaigns.
He warned that if the current system of splitting public money between the Government and the Referendum Commission continued for future campaigns, it was clear to him that similar applications accusing the Government of bias would be made to the courts.
The judge suggested a better way would be to expand the Referendum Commission, establish it earlier and give it an adequate budget so that it alone would be tasked with informing the electorate.
He said the public had a clear preference to get their information from an independent and neutral source.