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Judges, politics and the Irish Constitution$
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Laura Cahillane, James Gallen, and Tom Hickey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526114556

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526114556.001.0001

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Article 16 of the Irish Constitution and judicial review of electoral processes

Article 16 of the Irish Constitution and judicial review of electoral processes

Chapter:
(p.252) 16 Article 16 of the Irish Constitution and judicial review of electoral processes
Source:
Judges, politics and the Irish Constitution
Author(s):

David Prendergast

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526114556.003.0017

David Prendergast’s chapter looks past the referendum cases to examine judicial development of Article 16, which provides for the composition of, and election to, Dáil Éireann, Ireland’s lower house of parliament. The chapter first introduces a way of thinking about democracy to ground the evaluation of Article 16 case law that follows. The chapter gives an overview of Article 16, rejecting the view that it is a ‘total code’ for Dáil elections. Finally, the chapter defends the restrained yet occasionally creative path the courts have taken under Article 16. Prendergast concludes the courts’ work can be overall characterised as seeking to protect the electoral process, but not perfect it. The chapter concludes that the courts have embraced a role guarding Ireland’s democracy that illustrates in practice the idea that judicial review of electoral processes can be acceptable in democratic terms.

Keywords:   elections, electoral process, judicial review, democracy, parliamentary vacancies

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