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Constitution

Information

The Irish Constitution was enacted in 1937. It is the fundamental legal document that sets out how Ireland should be governed through a series of 50 Articles. Every part of the Constitution is set out in both the Irish and English language. The Irish language title for the Constitution is 'Bunreacht na hEireann', which means, 'Basic Law of Ireland'. The text of Bunreacht na hEireann (pdf) is on constitution.ie. The Constitution establishes the branches or organs of government, it establishes the courts and it also sets out how those institutions should be run. The Constitution also describes the fundamental rights of every Irish citizen.

One of the most important Articles of the Constitution is Article 15.4, which states that the Oireachtas must not enact any law that is repugnant to the Constitution and that any such law is invalid. This means that the Constitution is superior to all other law. If a proposed new law is repugnant to the Constitution, it cannot be enacted without first changing the Constitution by a constitutional referendum. The Constitution consists of two main parts. It describes:

Read more about how an amendment of the Constitution is made and what happens where unconstitutional legislation and decisions arise.

Page updated: 30 October 2009

Language

Gaeilge

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If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.