Not to be overlooked

Apart from the Baby Ann case, two other stories caught my eye, one relating to another judgment of the Supreme Court yesterday (my, they were busy!), the other relating to current controversies in third level education in Ireland.

First, in Cooney v Minister for the Environment [2006] IESC 61, the Supreme Court held that the requirement that all 30 of those nominating a non-party candidate in general elections to attend in person at local authority offices with photographic evidence, such as a passport or driving licence, to authenticate nominations, was unconstitutional. The requirement was contained in sections 46(4A) and (4B) of the Electoral Act, 1992 as inserted by section 1(a) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2002 but the court struck it down as disproportionate. Mary Carolan has a good piece on the case in today’s Irish Times. Strike one for participatory democrarcy.

Second, in the Education supplement to today’s Irish Times, Prof Tom Collins (NUI Maynooth) argues that Irish university leaders must reach out to their academics. Decrying the

structural predisposition towards centralised management structures within the universities – with the associated risk that the academic community feels more or less disengaged or ignored

he argues instead for a consensual style of leadership

built upon a rich engagement with academics and the wider community on the future direction of each institution.

Hear, hear!