is a motion which has been brought by the appellant in these proceedings
seeking a stay on orders for costs made against the appellant in these
proceedings in the High Court and in this court. The applicant further seeks
an order setting aside thejudgments and orders of this court of the 19th
November 1998 and the 20th May 1999 on the grounds that they were
“deliberately defective, unsafe and unjust”. He further seeks an
order reinstating the appeal in these proceedings for hearing by what the
appellant describes as “the full Supreme Court”.
these proceedings, the appellant had sought declarations that the 19th
Amendment of the Constitution Act 1998 - and in particular the Schedule thereto
- purported to allow the Constitution to be amended in a manner other than by a
referendum held under Article 46 of the Constitution. That claim was rejected
in the High Court and the appellant’s appeal therefrom was dismissed by
this court, the judgment of the court being given by Barrington J on the 20th
May 1999. The appellant has sought to have that decision in turn set aside on
the ground that the members of the court had rendered what he had described as
“corrupt judgments” and had acted with “
That application was refused by this court (Murray J, McGuinness J and
Geoghegan J) on the 29th June 2000.
the hearing of the present application, the appellant has submitted that the
judgment and order of this court dated the 29th June 2000 is defective and
should be set aside on the ground that it was delivered by a court of three
judges only. He has also submitted that the present application cannot be
heard by a court of three judges only. The court is satisfied that the
appellant’s submissions to that effect are wholly unsustainable.
provision was amended by S.6 of the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 which
provided that the court should consist of the Chief Justice and not more than
seven ordinary judges.
Court” is to the provision in S.1(4) of the Courts (Establishment and
Constitution) Act, 1961 enabling High Court judges to sit as additional judges
of the Supreme Court in the circumstances set out in that subsection.
proceedings have come before the High Court or this court claiming a
declaration that these provisions are invalid having regard to the provisions
of the Constitution and they must be presumed by this court to be valid.
the power thus given by the Constitution to the Oireachtas to preclude appeals
in some cases to this court from the High Court has been exercised on a number
of occasions, there remains vested in the court an extremely wide ranging
appellate jurisdiction from the decisions of the High Court, together with an
appellate jurisdiction by way of the case stated procedure from decisions of
the District Court.
are the only provisions to be found in the Constitution which require that a
decision of the court is to be given by not less than a specified number of the
members of the court. Their existence is wholly irreconcilable with any
alleged requirement that every matter coming before the court in the exercise
of its appellate jurisdiction may only be decided by a court consisting of all
the members of the court for the time being. No such provision exists either
in the Constitution or in statute law and, given the extent of the
court’s appellate jurisdiction and the necessity to ensure, in the
interests of the proper administration of justice, its reasonably expeditious
and economic despatch, it would be remarkable if any such provision existed.
claim made in these proceedings for declarations that specified legislation was
invalid having regard to the provisions of the Constitution was heard and
determined by a court consisting of not less than five judges of this court as
required by S. 7(5) of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961. No
question as to the validity of any law having regard to the provisions of the
Constitution is raised on the present motion.
is, however, the case that there is vested in this court, as there is in the
High Court, an inherent jurisdiction to restrain the institution of proceedings
by named persons in order to ensure that the process of the court is not abused
by repeated attempts to reopen litigation or to pursue litigation which is
plainly groundless and vexatious. The court is bound to uphold the rights of
othercitizens, including their right to be protected from unnecessary
and expense, rights which are enjoyed by the holders of public offices as well
as by private citizens. This court would be failing in its duty, as would the
High Court, if it allowed its processes to be repeatedly invoked in order to
reopen issues already determined or to pursue groundless and vexatious
appellant has not merely repeatedly sought to reopen decisions of this court:
he has also persistently abused the
which he has been afforded by the High Court and this court in cases in which
he has no direct personal interest in order to make scandalous allegations, not
merely against members of the judiciary, but other persons whom he chose to
join as defendants in his proceedings.
court is extremely reluctant, as the High Court has been, to restrain the
access of any citizen to the courts. The stage has clearly been reached,
however, where the proper administration of justice requires the making of such
an order as against the appellant. Accordingly, in addition to dismissing the
present motion the court will, in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction, order
that the appellant be restrained from instituting any proceedings, whether by
way of appeal or otherwise, against any of the parties to these proceedings or
the holders of any of the offices named as defendants or against the
Oireachtas, the Government or any member thereof or Ireland (other than in
relation to the taxation of costs), whether in the High Court or the Supreme
Court, except with the prior leave of this court, such leave to be sought by
application in writing addressed to the Registrar of the Supreme Court.