Bacik welcomes appointment of Ms Justice Mary Laffoy as Chairperson of Citizens’ Assembly

Ivana Bacik TD
28 July 2016

Senator Ivana Bacik today welcomed the appointment of Ms Justice Mary Laffoy of the Supreme Court to chair the Citizens’ Assembly, which is set to examine a range of issues including the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. Senator Bacik noted today that the announcement of this appointment should provide a clear indication that the government is committed to the assembly commencing its work at the earliest possible stage. The Assembly will also include 99 members of the public who will be randomly selected from the electoral register.

Senator Bacik stated “I would like to wish Ms Justice Laffoy and all the citizen participants well with the work of the Assembly, and hope that we will see the Assembly fully constituted and up and running without any delay, by October at latest. It is important that a clear and efficient timeframe is identified for the work of the Assembly.

“I hope that the Assembly will commit from its outset to engage with international expertise on reproductive health, and to draw on the knowledge of medical and legal experts as well as stakeholders with professional and direct personal experience. Furthermore I would hope that the Assembly would draw on the recent experience of the Constitutional Convention, in which I participated. The Convention proved the transformative effect of participative forums in the recommendation which it made to hold a referendum on Marriage Equality. It is important that the government would validate the participation of members of the assembly, as well as the time and resources expended on it by all involved, in making a political commitment to act speedily in the event that the Assembly makes a recommendation to hold a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment. I have long called for the holding of such a Referendum; and I hope that this will be the outcome of the deliberations of the Assembly.”  

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