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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



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School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences, Technological University Dublin, 2016.


Studying the Irish Constitutional Law, requires the understanding of how the Irish Political System was evolved. Montesquieu's tripartite system, adopted by the Republic of Ireland is the judiciary[1] has a particular place in the Irish Constitution in articles 34 - 37[2].

The main purpose of this essay is to analyse the balance between the jurisdiction of the Irish Courts in the protection of the constitutional rights of a person accused of a crime and the functioning of the criminal justice system in protecting Society`s general interest. The first section presents a brief summary of the courts functions and the Irish judicial system. The author tries to exam some particular Court`s judgments which are related to the protection individual’s rights during their criminal trial or accusation. The author takes into account, in particular, articles 38.1 and 40.4.2 of the Constitution[3].

The functioning of the criminal justice system in the protection of Society`s general interests is the second part of the thesis. Again, the author analyses decisions made by Judges, regarding the limitation of constitutional rights. The aim of this part is to show how individual rights can be limited or suspended in particular circumstances, especially those of public order. Most examples are based on prison law and criminal law.

The third and final part of the essay includes possible remedies and the interpretation of results. Here, the author tries to find proper answers for the question: do Irish courts maintain a “delicate and important balance” between the rights of a person accused of a crime and the protection of Society`s general interests. This part includes possible remedies in Constitutional Law, which can by used by the courts.

In this thesis, the author has been using research methods identified within the law sciences. Institutional and legal methods were used to interpret acts, constitutional law, and case law. The elements of the decision making methods are acknowledged in chapter two, especially in the analyses process of the Court`s decision. For the possible remedies and the interpretation of results, the author used the sociological method by conducting an analyses of the law in real action – as a social fact.

[1] Ch. Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, v. I, Warsaw 1957, p. 244.

[2] Bunreacht na hÉireann (Enacted by the People 1st July, 1937), [online:]

[], acc. 20.02.2016.

[3] Ibidem.