The constitution of the Republic of Ireland is
regarded as grand norm of the state which aids in governing and guiding the ways
of the citizens of Ireland. It is also understood as the fundamental legal
document that asserts the authority of the people of Ireland. The constitution
is the building block in which the justice of the state is administered and
legal rights are enforced in the courts by the government as previously stated.
The constitution also upholds and protects the rights of the people in the
republic of Ireland. The Irish constitution contains over 50 articles with its
contents.1 It created the
institutions of the state and puts down the rules which governs the interaction
between the establishments of the state and the people of the state. The people
are allowed to question and challenge any laws or rules introduced by the
government. The Irish constitution bases its laws on the common law approach,
which is the approach used by most of the countries in the European Union.2 A basic aspect of the Irish constitution is the
doctrine of the separation of powers. This doctrine of the separation of powers
requires that the various powers of the state are separated. Each structure is
seen to have exclusive powers that are specific to that structure and only it
can exercise said given power. A breach of this exercise of power by a
different part of the government which is meant for another part of the government,
would be deemed as unconstitutional and an incursion of the powers of that part
of the government.3
The reasoning behind the separation of powers doctrine lies in the notion and
idea that there is a danger in leaving or handing full power to one person or
one body. Hence why the government separated the powers into different parts
and by doing this each part of government can exercise their powers in a way
that allows a scheme of checks and balances by each part being able to
supervise and oversee the activities and the actions of the other parts of
government.4 The judicial power of government of those
courts includes the power to review the compatibility of statutes with the
Constitution and to judicially review subordinate legislation, decisions or
actions of the Government or State bodies with a view to determining their
legality and compatibility with the Constitution, and principles deriving from
the Constitution such as due process.5As stated the
constitution divides its powers into three and gives each part of the
government its own powers. Each of these different parts of the government have
their roles that each of them play for the good of the state of The Republic of
Ireland and these roles are as follows. These parts of government are the
1 Ryan, F. (2000). Constitutional law in Ireland.
Dublin: Round Hall Sweet & Maxwell.
Law: A student’s Guide. (2017). Constitutional Law. online
Available at: https://lawinireland.wordpress.com/constitutional-law/ Accessed
27 Dec. 2017.
(2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. online Available at:
Accessed 27 Dec. 2017.
R. and Carolan, B. (2008). Constitutional law. Dublin: Thomson
(2017). Supreme Court of Ireland. online Available at:
Accessed 27 Dec. 2017.