10th December 2020
The virtual broadcast kicked off with the inevitable intro discussion on the presidential election, in which the count continues and in particular the attempts by the incumbent President Trump’s attempts to derail the count process by court challenges. Seamus Gunn was of the view that there was no merit in such an approach, that it was extremely damaging to democracy and it was bizarre to suggest that a legal challenge could be mounted without any evidence to back it up, referring to the only requirement to mount such a challenge was to make an allegation of fraud or wrongdoing in the postal process and name the county precinct township in which it was alleged to have occurred. He was strongly of the view that such an approach would not reach the bar of establishing a prime facie case to be adjudicated upon in this jurisdiction and he had reservations whether such actions on the part of President Trump would reach the Supreme Court. He said it was incredulous to consider that while the Republicans wanted to stop the count in States in which they were ahead such as Georgia and Pennsylvania, but in the same breath, wanting it to proceed in the likes of Nevada and Arizona, where they were behind. Notwithstanding the attitude of the republicans, he thought that in 4 years’ time, that Trumpism would still be present and it could be in the form of the next generation. He had reservations about Vice President Biden going forward, especially as the power which lay in the senate, where the democrats are likely to be in the minority, could obstruct legislative reforms. He referred to Biden’s 2 terms as Vice President in the shadow of Barack Obama and expressed the view that a couple of years into his term, there could be a hand over of power to his Vice President Kamala Harris.
There was then a discussion in relation to the perception of truth, Greg Hughes expressing the view that there are 2 sides to it, with which Seamus Gunn did not agree, explaining that democracy was based on truth and that it was facts that were established in a court of law that were the measure of what was fact or fiction.
The Q&A session that followed revolved around estates and an interesting insight into neighbors and disputes.
10th December 2020
On another busy, remote broadcast on the 2nd October the case concerning Ryanair’s challenge to the Government’s measures which were announced on the 21st July in respect of travel restrictions were highlighted as the judgement was handed down earlier. The High Court ruled that the Government’s advice against nonessential travel to most countries due to the risk of Covid 19 infection is legal. The essence of the challenge was in respect of a claim by Ryanair that the advice was mandatory in nature and had the same effect as regulations but that it had not been introduced by any Acts of the Oireachtas and was therefore unconstitutional and in breach of the 1970 and 2020 Health Acts, the European Convention of Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It was the contention of the State that there was no mandatory nature in the measures, that they were advisory only, this point was referred to in the context of the latest announcement in respect of national Covid 19 restrictions prohibiting more than 6 gathering in any one house and curtailing such gatherings to the one family. Seamus Gunn was of the view that this was impractical and impossible to police. A debate followed in relation to measures restricting one’s rights in their family home and the powers that would be necessary in order to implement such actions. Our contributor was of the view that there would be a better argument to be made on the Constitutional front if any such regulations were introduced, pointing out that while they had been mooted to be referred to the AG for consideration, it seemed that they had been shelved to date. A view was also proffered that it was time to pursue a strategy of more conversation and less alienation, pointing to recent examples in respect of student gatherings on the reopening of colleges.
A lively Q & A session followed, which included some interesting questions on different aspects of Wills.