Irish Judiciary Importance

1686 Words7 Pages
Although Alexander Hamilton famously described the judiciary as the weakest branch of government that existed under the tripartite system of the separation of powers, this statement cannot be said to be entirely true in the context of the Irish constitution. The Irish constitution attempts to lay out a system which creates three equal branches of government, capable of exercising a series of checks and balances to prevent the power of any other branch exceeding what has been mandated by the constitution. This essay aims to look at the importance of the role of the Irish judiciary in the separation of powers, and how it has a power equal to that of both the legislature and the executive. This will be looked at through three main parts. Firstly,…show more content…
This article states that ‘Justice shall be administered in courts established by law by judges appointed in the manner provided by this Constitution, and, save in such special and limited cases as may be prescribed by law, shall be administered in public.’ The courts are therefore solely responsible for the administration of justice in the state, and it is therefore unconstitutional for any other body to attempt to administer justice. This also means that the courts are considered to be the primary body responsible for the resolution of disputes where there is a question regarding the application of the…show more content…
Article 37.1 along with providing for limited delegation of judicial powers, also reserves the power to deal with criminal matters to the courts alone. This is quite a significant function of the court, which was acknowledged in the case In re, Haughey . In this instance it was put forward that the constitution of Ireland ‘reserves exclusively to the Courts the power to try persons on criminal charges’ . This prevents interference from other branches of government on matters that have been deemed to be criminal in nature. In addition to this, in matters where there is an element of discretion in imposing certain sanctions, the power is reserved for the courts alone. However, the Oireachtas is not denied the power to fix mandatory sentences for specific crimes, showing that there is a certain level of interaction between the different organs government.
Article 37.1 also expresses the fact that the constitution does not grant the courts a complete monopoly over the exercise of limited civil judicial power. This means that in disputes that are not considered to be criminal in nature, bodies other than the courts (for example, tribunals) may determine certain issues. However, many civil matters are still heard by the courts rather than other

More about Irish Judiciary Importance

Open Document