High Court expected to rule on Green Party-RTÉ challenge

Nuala Butler SC
Nuala Butler SC

The High Court in Dublin is expected to deliver a judgment today on the Green Party’s legal challenge to its exclusion from the RTÉ leaders’ debate.

The political party brought a judicial review against the public broadcaster after it was refused the opportunity to participate in a televised general election debate.

The court has heard from Nuala Butler SC for RTÉ, who said the criteria applied by the broadcaster as objective, impartial and transparent.

RTÉ has offered invitations to parties with three TDs at the dissolution of the Dáil.

Ms Butler said the Green Party had accepted its criteria in previous years and would receive coverage outwith the televised debate.

She told the court: “What they are really doing is not putting forward an alternative criteria but suggesting that the current criteria should not apply to them.

“RTÉ applied a criteria which it believes are objective and fair and deliberately did not enter into a subjective assessment of the worth or merit of a political party or their platforms.”

However, Siobhan Phelan SC for the Green Party said the rules put down by the broadcaster were unlawful, unfair and overly rigid, as well as in breach of the Broadcasting Act 2009.

Ms Justice Marie Baker is expected to deliver her judgment in the case later today.

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