Dáil Éireann - Volume 459 - 14 December, 1995

Written Answers. - Constitutional Protection.

[1820] 29. Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for Justice the reason counsel for the Attorney General at the hearing of a case (details supplied) submitted to the court that the Constitution did not protect and afforded no remedy to those students who are third-level students in Queens University, Belfast and argued that they were unable to expressly rely upon the 1937 Constitution; the further reason this submission was made on the basis of specific written instructions of the Attorney General on behalf of the Government; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14096/95]

Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): The position is that this matter is under appeal and accordingly it would not be appropriate to comment in detail on the case. I understand from the Attorney General's Office that no direction or submission was made about 27 of the 35 plaintiffs in the High Court action. Apparently, eight plaintiffs expressly disclaimed any constitutional rights and the direction given by the Attorney General's office was that this disclaimer must stand.

I understand that the Attorney General does not deny that, in general, residents of Northern Ireland may rely on the Constitution but that the position of persons who disclaim such rights is clearly different.