Judges, politics and the Irish Constitution

Edited by Laura Cahillane, James Gallen and Tom Hickey

Judges, politics and the Irish Constitution


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0820-3
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: February 2017
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Ireland, Law / General, Politics & government, Legal history, Law, Ireland, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, LAW / Legal History


This volume brings together academics and judges to consider ideas and arguments flowing from the often complex relationships between law and politics, adjudication and policy-making, and the judicial and political branches of government.

Contributors explore numerous themes, including the nature and extent of judicial power, the European Court of Human Rights decision in O'Keeffe v Ireland, the process of appointing judges and judicial representation, judicial power and political processes. Contrasting judicial and academic perspectives are provided on the role of the European Court of Human Rights and the nature of exhausting domestic remedies, including a contribution from the late Mr. Justice Adrian Hardiman. The role of specific judges, social and political disputes and case law are examined and socio-economic rights, the rule of law and electoral processes are all addressed.


'Each chapter contains much of note. Dublin City University's school of law and government and Manchester University Press have done a great public service by preparing and bringing out this excellent book. It will be read by anyone with an interest in how the judicial power of the State should function in a modern democracy.'
Mr Justice Richard Humphreys is a judge of the High Court, The Irish Times April 2017

'It is a highly readable collection containing contributions from Ireland's leading voices on the Constitution that will be of interest to lawyers, historians, political scientists and the general reader alike.'
Alan Greene, Durham University, Irish Jurist


Introduction - Laura Cahillane, James Gallen and Tom Hickey
Part I: Judicial power in a constitutional democracy: theoretical foundations
1. In defence of judicial innovation and constitutional evolution - Fiona de Londras
2. Reappraising judicial supremacy in the Irish constitutional tradition - Eoin Daly
3. Unenumerated personal rights: the legacy of Ryan v. Attorney General - Gerard Hogan
4. Judges as God's philosophers: re-thinking 'principle' in constitutional adjudication - Tom Hickey
Part II: Judging in the case of O'Keeffe v. Hickey: analysis and debate
5. O'Keeffe v. Hickey: overview and analysis - James Gallen
6. The jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and the case of O'Keeffe v. Hickey -Adrian Hardiman
7. Subsidiarity of ECHR and O'Keeffe v. Ireland: a response to Mr Justice Hardiman - Conor O'Mahony
Part III: Judges and the political sphere: appointments and dialogue
8. Judicial appointments in Ireland: the potential for reform - Laura Cahillane
9. Merit, diversity, and interpretive communities: the (non-party) politics of judicial appointments and constitutional adjudication - David Kenny
10. Speaking to power: mechanisms for judicial-executive dialogue - John O'Dowd
Part IV: Judges and the Constitution in historical perspective
11. The Irish Constitution 'from below': squatting families versus property rights in Dublin, 1967-71 - Thomas Murray
12. 'The union makes us strong:' National Union of Railwaymen v. Sullivan and the demise of vocationalism in Ireland - Donal Coffey
13. Ulster unionism and the Irish Constitution: 1970-1985 - Rory Milhench
14. 'Towards a better Ireland:' Donal Barrington and the Irish Constitution - Tomás Finn
Part V: Perspectives on the Constitution and judicial power
15. Administrative action, the rule of law and unconstitutional vagueness - Oran Doyle
16. Article 16 of the Irish Constitution and judicial review of electoral processes - David Prendergast
17. Social and economic rights in the Irish courts and the potential for constitutionalisation - Claire Michelle Smyth


Laura Cahillane is a Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Limerick, James Gallen is a Lecturer in Law in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University, Tom Hickey is a Lecturer in Law in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University

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