LA4430 Constitutional Law 1 Assignment Example UL Ireland
The Irish Constitution is a fundamental law that regulates the legal framework of Ireland. This module will examine the Irish Constitution from an institutional perspective. The course will first address how the Constitution regulates the legal framework of the Irish state and its institutions, including the interaction between these various institutions. Fundamental issues such as sovereignty and the separation of powers will be examined. The historical development of the Constitution will be initially addressed, followed by a focus on the powers and competencies of the various organs of government. The module will also consider the protection of human rights under the Constitution and recent amendments to the Constitution.
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In this course, there are many types of assignments given to students like individual assignments, group-based assignments, reports, case studies, final year projects, skills demonstrations, learner records, and other solutions are given by us.
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
Assignment Activity 1: Demonstrate an understanding of the development of the Constitution from a historical perspective:
The constitution of Ireland is an ever-changing document that was initially drafted in the 1930s and amended many times since. The foundation of the constitution is based on European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which aims to promote human rights, democracy. The ECHR is part of the European Union’s (EU) charter with most member states legally bound by it. Ireland contributed to the drafting of both the ECHR and EU’s Charter. However, Ireland opted out of incorporating the charter into Irish law in 2003 due to fears over national sovereignty after rejection by referendum in 2001.
The structure of Government in Ireland is created by the Constitution and it is through this document that fundamental rights are protected for citizens. Up to amendments in 1999, the Irish constitution did not contain a bill of Rights. However, due to membership of the Council of Europe (CoE), an international organization dedicated to upholding human rights, Ireland agreed to be bound by CoE’s requirements which included the incorporation of a bill of rights into Bunreacht na hEireann.
The current Irish constitution was drafted in 1937 and is the basic law that governs the state and its institutions. It gives citizens certain fundamental rights as well as entrusts elected representatives with specific powers on behalf of the people. The Constitution provides for parliamentary democracy and the separation of powers, but with a degree of overlap between the three arms. The Constitution permits citizens to appeal directly to the courts for protection of rights and guarantees that Parliament will not pass laws violating those fundamental rights.
The Constitution evolved as a result of several very different traditions: British common law, Roman-Dutch civil law, and local customs. The Constitution was drafted by a group of 29 people, chaired by the president of the Executive Council (the prime minister), who was elected to Dáil Éireann (parliament) during June and July 1937. On 1 December 1937, it was adopted in a national plebiscite with 621,193 voting in favor and 591 voting against. The main reason for adopting the Constitution was to prevent British interference in Irish affairs and to achieve full independence.
Assignment Activity 2: Identify the various institutions established by the Irish Constitution:
The main organs of government established by the Irish Constitution are the President, the Dáil Éireann (Parliament), the Seanad Éireann (Senate), and the Courts. The President is the head of state and is elected for a seven-year term. The Dáil Éireann is the lower house of parliament and is elected by the people. The Seanad Éireann is the upper house of parliament and is indirectly elected by members of local authorities. The Courts are the main judicial branch of government and include the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and the High Court.
The Constitution also establishes a number of other institutions such as the Garda Síochána (the police), the Revenue Commissioners, and the Health Service Executive. These institutions are either independent or partially independent of government. The Constitution permits the government to establish other institutions if it considers this to be in the public interest. For example, in 1997, the government established the Commission on Children which is an advisory body that makes recommendations to the government on policy and legislation relating to children.
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Assignment Activity 3: Examine the potential impact of international law on the domestic legal position in the context of constitutional limitations:
International human rights law is an area of international law that has the potential to affect the domestic legal position in Ireland. The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is one such source of international human rights law that may have some effect on constitutional limitations in Ireland. Ireland ratified the ECHR in 1962 and, as a result, it is directly applicable in Irish courts (the ECHR is also directly applicable in courts across the 47 Council of Europe member states). The ECHR has primacy over Irish law. According to Article 15 of the Constitution, international law can be used as an aid to interpretation, but if any part of an Act of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) is inconsistent with international law, it can be declared invalid by a court.
The ECHR is binding on the Irish government and requires it to protect the human rights of its citizens. This includes protecting their basic human rights as set out in the ECHR, such as those concerning life (Article 2), freedom from torture or inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 3), and the right to a fair trial (Article 6). The Irish government must also respect the rights of citizens as set out in the ECHR, such as those concerning privacy (Article 8), and freedom of religion or belief (Article 9).
Assignment Activity 4: Differentiate between the powers and functions of the three organs of government:
The President is the head of state and is elected for a seven-year term. The main functions of the President are to:
- Appoint the Taoiseach (prime minister) and other ministers
- Dissolve Dáil Éireann
- Declare a national emergency
- Grant pardons
The Taoiseach is the head of government and is appointed by the President. The main functions of the Taoiseach are to:
- Appoint the members of the government
- Chair cabinet meetings
- Declare a state of emergency
Dáil Éireann is the lower house of parliament and is elected by the people. The main functions of Dáil Éireann are to:
- Pass laws
- Approve the budget
- Declare war
- Adjournment of the house
The Seanad Éireann is the upper house of parliament and is indirectly elected by members of local authorities. The main functions of the Seanad Éireann are to:
- Consider and pass or reject bills passed by Dáil Éireann
- Approve the budget
- Declare war
- Nominate candidates for appointment to certain offices
- Request a referendum on a bill passed by Dáil Éireann
Assignment Activity 5: Appraise the relationship between the Nation, the State, and the People Influence opinion by presenting cogent oral and written legal arguments:
The Constitution of Ireland establishes the relationship between the Nation, the State, and the People. According to Article 6 of the Constitution, the Nation is the source of all authority exercised by the State. The State is a democratic republic that is founded on the will of the people and, as such, must recognize and protect their rights. The People are the ultimate holders of sovereignty in the State. They exercise their sovereignty through their representatives in Dáil Éireann and, as such, have a right to direct the government on all matters that concern them.
The Constitution also sets out the principles that guide the State in the exercise of its authority. These principles include the rule of law, which requires that the State act in accordance with its laws and not arbitrarily; and justice, which requires that the State treat all citizens equally before the law.
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