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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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Social and economic rights in the Irish courts and the potential for constitutionalisation

Social and economic rights in the Irish courts and the potential for constitutionalisation

Chapter:
(p.269) 17 Social and economic rights in the Irish courts and the potential for constitutionalisation
Source:
Judges, politics and the Irish Constitution
Author(s):

Claire-Michelle Smyth

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526114556.003.0018

Claire Michelle Smyth’s chapter examines the question of socio-economic rights in the Irish Constitution. She argues that it is possible to identify the avenues for constitutionalisation of socio-economic rights without the need for express incorporation by way of referendum. Beginning with an overview of the case which cements the status of social and economic rights in the Irish Constitutional order, this chapter examines the potential of reinvigorating the doctrine of unspecified rights, utilising the power of Article 45 and analysing the legitimacy of the Supreme Court’s reasoning to refuse judicial intervention. It concludes that Irish courts need to re-evaluate their stance and embrace the value of social and economic rights and to actively engage with their obligation to protect and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen.

Keywords:   Socio-economic rights, unenumerated rights, judicial legitimacy, personal rights, comparative constitutional law

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