Originally written for the fiftieth anniversary of the Constitution of Ireland, this book is an account of how the Constitution’s requirements have been implemented by the legislature and interpreted by the courts. In this way it provides an integrated and contextual account of constitutional law in Ireland. It goes as far as to place it in context of some foreign constitutions, especially the Constitutions of the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as indeed the Irish courts refer frequently to other countries for guidance in interpreting the Constitution.
The book largely falls into four parts. The first few chapters are introductory and cover the drafting and adoption of the Constitution, some features of the State and its citizens, and the judicial review of laws. The next few chapters deal with the various institutions of government and with the activities of the State in the international arena and in relation to fiscal matters. Then following on from this there are a number of chapters which consider what may be termed the various civil liberties and rights. There is a final brief section, towards the end of the book which deals with the various legal breaches of the Constitution.
This new edition has been extensively rewritten to account for the enormous to take into account the tumultuous changes in Irish Constitutional Law in the intervening years. Challenges to articles, referenda, new legislation, and cases are all judicially considered. Michael Forde and David Leonard offer the reader everything they need to know on this complex subject.