“a Written Constitution Means ‘Rule by the Dead’ ”. Examine the Relevance of This Statement with Regard to Bunreacht Na Heireann.

Topics: Republic of Ireland, Referendum, United States Constitution Pages: 4 (1186 words) Published: November 21, 2010
“A written constitution means ‘rule by the dead’ ”. Examine the relevance of this statement with regard to Bunreacht na hEireann.

Constitution is the most important document in a democratic republic and to give a label “rule by dead” is not the best way to represent it. Some would disagree with me in backing up their idea that Irish constitution is based on Catholic laws which are clearly stated in constitution and derogate on human rights (article 40, article 41, article 44) and that these laws can not represent modern society. Yes, but Constitution is a set of laws which must be obeyed by every citizen and must be obeyed by every generation. Also, constitution is amendable document and to put a label that it is ‘rule by the dead’ would be inappropriate. Throughout my essay I will write about the label of written constitution, background of it and the development of Bunreacht na hEireann. Constitution of Ireland was written in 1937 and was supervised by de Valera. What de Valera wanted to bring to an end, of course, was the Constitution of 1922. What he wanted to rewrite, as he thought it should have been written in the first place, was the Anglo – Irish Treaty of 1921. What he wanted to destroy was the Irish Free State (Fanning, 1988; 34). Reasons to destroy Irish Free State were the laws which were clearly stated in the Constitution of Irish Free State. First of all, members of Oireachtas had to take an oath and be faithful to H.M King George V (Article 17), also Article 1 said that Irish Free State is a co-equal member of the Community of Nations forming the British Commonwealth of Nations. Later, in 1932 Fianna Fáil came to power, they removed part of constitution where was an oath. After this de Valera initiated the process of constitutional reform in 1934 (Gallagher 2010; 74). In 1 July 1937 new constitution of Ireland was put on a referendum. It was approved by people by 56.5% for and 43.5% against. When I looked at the development of Irish...
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