Published 15/09/2011 | 05:00
•Our democracy and form of government is based on a system of checks and balances between the government, the Oireachtas and the judiciary.
The wording of the two newly proposed referendums is, in each case, a direct attack on that balance.
The first represents an erosion of judicial independence and will rely on actions to be implemented "before or after" relevant laws are passed. The second firmly excludes the judiciary from its role as a guarantor of individual rights against the use of oppressive state power.