The third and final publication in the Institute of Public Administration’s series on the core branches of government, this book offers a comprehensive and multi-faceted assessment of judicial power in Ireland.
Bringing together leading figures from inside and outside the administration of justice, Judicial Power in Ireland provides a timely insight into the principles, the politics and the people that shape the relationships between the courts and the other branches of government.
Opinions have long differed over the power and position of what is – outside legal circles at least – Ireland’s least-studied government institution. Perceptions of the courts often follow the outcome of specific cases. This means the judicial branch has been characterised by some as boldly activist and by others as timidly conservative. This collection of essays goes beyond a review of individual decisions to providing a fully contextualised assessment of how the courts operate.
How has judicial power in Ireland been shaped by its history? What are the concepts, principles and interpretative techniques that influence judicial decision-making in practice? How are decisions affected by court structures and procedures? What impact has the development of European courts had on judicial power in Ireland? What are the implications of recent reforms for the role of the Supreme Court? And what will this mean for the power of the judiciary, and for their relationship with the political branches of government in the future?
These questions are particularly relevant given the emerging authoritarian or populist threats to judicial independence and the rule of law in Europe and elsewhere; and the unprecedented level of controversy in Ireland in recent years around issues of judicial appointments, discipline, representation, pay and pensions. These events are subjected to detailed analysis in a dedicated section of the book.
The essays are accessible to lawyers and non-lawyers alike and offer essential reading for students and scholars of Irish politics, government and law.
PART 1. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN IRISH JUDICIARY
1. The challenges of creating a new judiciary 1922–1924 - (Bláthna Ruane SC)
2. Comparative and institutional perspectives on the exercise of judicial power in the Irish Free State - (Donal K Coffey)
PART 2. THE JUDICIAL POWER IN IRELAND: PRINCIPLES, PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES
3. The courts and the doctrine of separation of powers in the Irish Constitution - (Hon Mr Justice Fennelly)
4. The removal of judges - (Brian Murray SC)
5. The shape of things to come – the conduct of appeals in the Supreme Court after the 33rd Amendment - (Hon Mr Justice Clarke)
6. Interpretation: the unrealisable ideal of judicial constraint - (Oran Doyle)
7. Why proportionality? - (Brian Foley)
8. Judicial decisions as catalysts for social change - (Gerry Whyte)
9. The independence of the legal profession: a luxury or an imperative? Its relationship with the independence of the judiciary - (Hon
Mr Justice Barniville)
10. The rule of law or the rule of rights? Five ECHR misconceptions the courts convincingly refute - (Dr Maria Cahill)
11. EU law and the courts: the mundane and the exceptional - (Imelda Maher)
12. The Constitution and judicial power: theoretical perspectives - (Eoin Daly and Tom Hickey)
PART 3. THE FUTURE OF THE IRISH JUDICIARY: CHALLENGES AND CHANGES
13. Some reflections on the independence of the judiciary - (Hon Mr Justice O’Donnell)
14. Challenges to the rule of law in 21st century Ireland - (Paul Gallagher SC)
15. ‘Sacred office’ or ‘just a job’? The status of Irish judges under scrutiny - (John O’Dowd)
16. Changing the judicial selection system in Ireland - (Jennifer Carroll MacNeill)
17. Judicial appointments in Ireland: some comparative perspectives - (Dermot Feenan)
18. Regulating judicial conduct effectively - (Colin Scott)
19. The accountability of the least powerful and dangerous branch - (Michael M Collins SC)