Constitutional Issues

In response to concerns over global warming and environmental damage, which the government views as an imminent national and international catastrophe, the government is determined to reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the country. The situation is increasingly drastic, so various designated factories which are polluting the atmosphere are closed with immediate effect.

A body is set up by the Stop Pollution Act 2018 to administer the closure and to award compensation. The body is called the“The Compulsory Factory Closure Board.” Under Section 3 of the Act, the Board is given unlimited discretionary power to close whichever factories it deems, in its expert opinion, to be unduly damaging to the environment. The Board also has the power to set the quantum of compensation payable to factory owners as it sees fit.

Lady Gogo Gaga is a factory owner and international businesswoman. She took a break from the business world to try her hand at acting and singing. When she returned to her business, she was incensed to discover the consequences of these actions. Nine of her factories are to be closed. In four of them, a quantum of compensation at near market value is awarded but in the other five significantly lower amounts of compensation are awarded, and in one instance no compensation at all is given.

The Board’s Chairman, Mr Arle Foster, has publicly expressed the view, on behalf of the Board, that the quantum of compensation should reflect the dire economic reality the country is facing.

You are consulted By Lady Gogo to advise her as a matter of Irish Constitutional Law as to whether there any arguments she could advance against this proposed action.

In your answer it is necessary to address the constitutional issues that might arise from a consideration of Article 15 of the Constitution. Critically evaluate same with reference to decided case law.

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