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Afghanistan war judicial review: Costs decision due tomorrow

category national | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Wednesday February 22, 2006 13:36author by Michaelauthor phone +33 6 86789118

Judge Macken heard arguments in the High Court today from lawyers representing Eoin Dubsky and the Government of Ireland, regarding the costs of the judicial review case begun in September 2002. She is due to make her decision on costs tomorrow, Thursday 23 February. The "order" will then be "perfected", meaning the countdown to lodge an appear with the Supreme Court will begin.
US Air Force C-130, Shannon Airport, September 2002.
US Air Force C-130, Shannon Airport, September 2002.

The court case concerns Ireland's conduct in the so-called "war on terrorism", and especially the permissions given to American military flights passing through Irish territory to war in Afghanistan.

The court ruled on December 13th last, that the war in Afghanistan was not a war in the sense that is meant in the Irish Constitution, and so the issue of participation does not arise (Article 28.3.1). Other issues raised by Mr. Dubsky about the permissions system for foreign military stopovers and overflights were also dismissed.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the judgement, Eoin Dubsky today said: "War is the most destructive business a state can participate in, and agreesion is the supreme international crime.

"Following the Afghanistan war and Iraq war, Horgan judgement, and now this one, it looks like the High Court and the Constitution has little to offer people who want to withdraw Ireland's participation from Bush's murderous gang. They'd best do it by hand.

"Article 29.1, 29.2, and 29.3 were rendered useless by Judge Kearns, saying effectively that Ireland need only aspire to behave lawfully and ethically in its international relations.

"That left only Article 28.3.1 to protect us from the treacherous ambitions of our government. Now Judge Macken has undone that article too: A war cannot be defined, and declarations of war cannot be taken as such.

"We're reminded by the judges and politicians of course that there are protections against 'untoward conduct', tripple locks, and what-have-yous. But as far as I can tell, we have forfeited our airspace to American warplanes, we've just participated in two major crimes of aggression, we've surrendered any possible moral defence against countries or terrorists who may attack us to prevent further military and CIA flights through Ireland, and we have submitted to the logic of American imperialism."

Eoin now lives in Paris and was not able to be in Dublin for the hearing today.

Related Link:

Irish High Court, Four Courts, Dublin
Irish High Court, Four Courts, Dublin

Comments (7 of 7)

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author by Michaelpublication date Wed Feb 22, 2006 15:39author address author phone

The DPP says that there's not enough evidence to pursue a case against Irish officials relating to CIA torture flights. The Irish Examiner reported today that the government will include that gem, along with a reference to "assurances from the US authorities", in their report to the Council of Europe: See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Feb 22, 2006 15:57author address author phone

The best of luck tomorrow Eoin, me thoughts are with you.

As for the DPP:

Fuck you!

There's lot's of actual evidence gone to Europe. As opposed to this thinly veiled insult to the spirit of humanity and justice. May it be received in the spirit it will be given. In a way, it may even add to the evidence sent already, in that it shows that at least the DPP has thought about prosecuting the government.

Then again that's what these muppets are all about. Theoretical justice and enabling criminals to run the country and the system.

Sláinte and solidarity.

author by anonpublication date Wed Feb 22, 2006 20:47author address author phone

interesting in the context of the over use of the word assurance

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists made their call as government representatives began a meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, December 7-9, to consider an initiative to elaborate “minimum requirements” for reliance on diplomatic assurances -- agreements between states, sometimes also represented as “memoranda of understanding,” that purportedly aim to protect an individual from torture and ill-treatment after transfer.

“Governments shouldn’t cloak diplomatic assurances with the legitimacy that they don’t deserve by creating standards for their use,” said Jill Heine, Legal Adviser of the International Legal and Organizations Program at Amnesty International. “They should see such arrangements for what they are -- unacceptable attempts by states to justify forcibly sending people to a place where they risk torture or ill-treatment.”

Read further

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author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:54author address author phone

Thanks everyone who's kept in touch, sent emails and posted comments over the long months waiting for a court ruling, and now the ruling over costs. Judge Macken said this morning that the case was clearly a public interest one, and that Judge Kearns' ruling over costs in Ed Horgan's case kinda set the standard for this sort of thing anyways. The state will pay for its lawyers, and 75% of my lawyer's costs will be paid for too.

The order hasn't been perfected yet, i.e. the clock hasn't started ticking for when I need to lodge an appeal, if that's what I decide to do next. I'm not sure.

I was at a debate in Trinity last month -- "That Irish Neutrality has no Place in the Modern World". Ruairi Quinn (Lab) was the most pro-interventionist, pro-imperialist of all the guests (there was one other guy worse than him, young guy dressed in black, but he was just a Phil member taking the piss). Billy Timmins (FG) came across as far more anti-NATO (Ruairi Quinn had the neck to say he wanted Ireland to join a "North Atlantic Defence Union" from North America, through Europe and Russia, to Japan). The other guests were all quite representative of what you should expect from pacifists, greens and a right-wing libertarian (all antiwar and anti-NATO).

We're not in a good place right now. But at least we know where we are.

author by Edward Horgan - PANApublication date Thu Feb 23, 2006 14:34author address author phone

Contrats Eoin on your whole case so far, and on the judgement. You actually did better than me on the costs. I only got 50% of my costs, and you managed 75%. Well done. You should read Declan Costello's long article on the Iraq war in the FEbruary edition of the Irish Law review. He is a former attorney general and former President of the High Court, and he gave a very detailed argument as to why the War in Iraq is a clear breach of International law.
Since he is now retired, perhaps he could be called as an expert witness if you appeal to the Supreme Court.
I will try and scan a copy of Declan Costello's article and email it around later.

Thank you for all your efforts. You are an artist, or at least a painter, working on behalf of humanity.

Edward Horgan, fellow litigant.

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Thu Feb 23, 2006 14:35author address author phone

Well done for taking it the State to court. And if it took a perverse judgement in the High Court to keep the government out of hot water, then that only further exposes the rotten state of affairs going on.

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Thu Feb 23, 2006 15:13author address author phone

The Supreme Court isn't likely, in it's current configuration, to provide us a Crotty or McKenna-type judgement. Remember, if we are right, then Ireland has participated in "the supreme international crime". We don't have the death penalty any more, but it would still have some quite striking consequences for the people involved -- assuming that the justice system works the same for wholesale murder as it does for the retail variety.

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