A FORMER attorney general has claimed that judges' rulings in contentious referendum disputes may be "distorting" public debate, writes Dearbhail McDonald.
Peter Sutherland, a chairman of Goldman Sachs, has warned judges "risk stimulating confusion rather than informed judgment" on the part of voters.
In an address commemorating the late Fianna Fail Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, Mr Sutherland also criticised politicians for delegating controversial issues such as abortion, that they don't want to address, to judges.
Mr Sutherland said he was "worried" about the implications of Supreme Court rulings in respect of state funding of referendums and equality of broadcasting time.
And he said that the rule that state funds should be spent equally in a referendum campaign risked the prospect of Government not being able to respond to tiny minority groups or wealthy private funders from abroad when it advocates the adoption of a Yes vote in a referendum.