11 U. Brit. Colum. L. Rev. 294 (1977)
Personal Rights under the Irish Constitution; Heuston, Robert F.

handle is hein.journals/ubclr11 and id is 306 raw text is: PERSONAL RIGHTS UNDER THE
IRISH CONSTITUTION
ROBERT F. HEUSTON*
INTRODUCTION
In the Fourth Goodman Lecture on 18 May 1976 Sir Leslie Scar-
man said: Irish judges administer an admirable constitution, and
find no embarrassment. They do not find themselves accused of being
politically activated. So it might be interesting to study the experi-
ence of the Republic of Irelanct in this area since its Constitution was
enacted by the people in 1937. The Constitution is a rigid one recog-
nising the doctrine of the separation of power&1 It establishes a bi-
cameral legislatur, the Oireachtas; an executive responsible to the
lower House of Parliament, Dail Eireann, on the traditional lines of
the British Constitution; and a judiciary composed of a High Court
and a Supreme Court, each with nine judges.
The Constitution was not enacted by- any legislative assembly either
in Ireland or in Great Britain. Instead it was enacted at a plebiscite
by the Irish people themselves, and it came into force on 29 Decem-
ber 1937. As the Constitution is not an Act of the Oireachtas, it
logically, if inconveniently, does not appear in the published volume
of statutes for 1937 but has to be bought in a separate publication.'
However, the subsequent amendments of the Constitution are Acts
of the Oireachtas, although a referendum became constitutionally
necessary for such amendments in 1941. So conveniently these
amendments do appear in the published volumes of the Statutes -
though, illogically, the amendments do not form part of the num-
bered series of Acts, but are placed at the front of the annual bound
volumes. Amendments were passed in the years 1939, 1941, 1972
(twice) and 1973.
D.C.L., Professor of Law, University of Dublin.
I Re Haughey [,971] I.L 217, at 250.
2 From the Government Publications Sales Office, GPO, Dublin i.

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