The Supreme Court this morning will begin hearing the appeal by Thomas Pringle, independent TD for Donegal South West, against the High Court’s dismissal of his case against the European Union Fiscal Compact.
Earlier this month, the High Court rejected Deputy Pringle’s claim that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty was unconstitutional and in breach of EU law. But the court referred a legal issue to the European Court of Justice, asking the court to rule on the impact on the ESM if member states do not give notice that they will approve establishment of the mechanism.
After the High Court decision, the government undertook not to ratify the ESM treaty pending Deputy Pringle’s appeal.
The court is expected to hear arguments today on the Irish constitutional issues in relation to the treaty. On Thursday, the court is expected to hear arguments on questions for the European Court of Justice, and whether the Irish state should be injuncted from ratifying the treaty.
There have been court challenges in other countries. The German Constitutional Court is expected to rule on Sept. 12th on whether the German president can sign the ESM into law. The ESM cannot come into operation without the participation of 90 per cent of the states subscribing to the bail-out fund, and cannot come into operation without Germany.
On July 12th, the Supreme Court of Estonia voted 10-9, saying that the ESM did not violate the Estonian constitution. Mart Rusk, the chief justice of the Estonian Supreme Court, said it was “one of the hardest decisions the Supreme Court has had to make,” according to The Wall Street Journal newspaper.