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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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Reappraising judicial supremacy in the Irish constitutional tradition

Reappraising judicial supremacy in the Irish constitutional tradition

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 Reappraising judicial supremacy in the Irish constitutional tradition
Source:
Judges, politics and the Irish Constitution
Author(s):

Eoin Daly

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526114556.003.0003

In his chapter, Eoin Daly casts a sceptical eye on judicial supremacy. Daly argues that the doctrine goes almost unquestioned in Irish constitutional scholarship (and practice) and that its value and potential is vastly overstated, while its costs – particularly its tendency to stultify rights-discourse in the sphere of ordinary politics – go largely under-appreciated. consider how various familiar, principled objections to strong-form judicial review, of the sort typically aired in other Anglophone jurisdictions, may be borne out in the Irish context. Two arguments in particular are salient in the Irish experience. First, the understanding of strong-form judicial review as being ‘good for rights’ conceives of rights narrowly, ignoring the connection between individual freedom and citizenship, and overlooking problems of domination in social and political life. Secondly, rights-based review of legislation undermines democratic citizenship in the Irish context, not because it undermines majority decision-making as such, but rather, because it has meant that ever-increasing areas of political argument are framed in esoteric constitutional terms.

Keywords:   Judicial review, judicial supremacy, constitutional interpretation

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