The Irish Constitution for Citizens and Non-Nationals Analytical Essay by nikki77

The Irish Constitution for Citizens and Non-Nationals
A critical analysis of whether the Irish Constitution is applied differently to citizens than it is to non-nationals.
# 149071 | 3,644 words | 26 sources | MLA | 2010 | IE
Published on Nov 23, 2011 in Law (International) , Law (Constitution)

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The paper closely examines the case law of the courts to determine whether non-citizens have been excluded from enjoying the benefits of constitutional protection. The paper also looks at the consistency of the courts with regard to constitutional interpretation, as well as general Irish policy in a European context. The paper concludes that while non-citizens can invoke the family rights provided for in the Constitution, case law proves the courts' reluctance to actually grant these rights. The paper clearly shows how the Irish Constitution has double standards.

From the Paper:

"It should be noted at the outset that there are two separate issues in terms of the relationship between non-citizens and the Constitution. The first relates to the right of a non-citizen to invoke a Constitutional provision in order to challenge the validity of legislation, and the second, which is more central to the analysis at hand, is the entitlement of a non-citizen to enjoy certain constitutional rights. The courts seem to have drawn a general distinction between areas where non-citizens do and do not have locus standi to challenge the constitutionality of a law. Judgments from several cases have indicated that non-citizens have standing to attack the Constitutionality of a law only where they are directly affected by legislation, in contrast to Articles such as those governing elections which may only be relied upon by citizens. This was alluded to by O'Higgins CJ in Re Article 26 and the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 1983 when he made the distinction between Articles covering rights to vote in elections and Articles dealing with personal rights. This was later reaffirmed by Re Article 26 and the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Bill 1999 in which the Court 'recognised that non-citizens might not always enjoy the same fundamental rights as citizens [but that], broadly speaking, non-citizens have the same constitutional rights of access to the courts and to fair procedures.'"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Richard Humphreys, "Constitutional Contradictions: Accommodating Multiple Identities after the Good Friday Agreement", in Eoin Carolan & Oran Doyle (eds.) The Irish Constitution-Governance and Values (Thomson Round Hall, 2008).
  • Siobhan Mulally, "Defining the Limits of Citizenship: Family life, Immigration and "Non-Nationals" in Irish Law", (2004) 39 Irish Jurist 334.
  • James P. Casey, Constitutional Law in Ireland, 3rd Edition (Round Hall, 2000).
  • Brian Doolan, Constitutional Law and Constitutional Rights in Ireland, 3rd Edition (Gill and Macmillan, 2004).
  • Oran Doyle, Constitutional Law: Text, Cases and Materials, (Clarus Press, 2008).

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Irish Constitution for Citizens and Non-Nationals (2011, November 23) Retrieved September 18, 2019, from

MLA Format

"The Irish Constitution for Citizens and Non-Nationals" 23 November 2011. Web. 18 September. 2019. <>