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Timing of Ireland’s referendum on UPC participation still unclear

27 September 2017



The Republic of Ireland’s participation in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) would require an amendment to the Constitution and any amendment to the Constitution must be approved in a referendum, and such a referendum is among several planned by the government (see here and here).  However, although the government yesterday set out an indicative timeline for seven referendums to be held in the next two years, the UPC referendum was not among those.  Leo Varadkar, the Republic of Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister), confirmed that the government had decided to defer making a decision on the timing of that referendum.  The reason for that decision is not yet clear, one report stating that the government is seeking ‘further clarity’.