Council of State
The Council of State is an advisory body that aids and counsels the President. Before the President can exercise some of their functions, they must consult with the Council of State.
The President must consult with the Council of State before they can convene a meeting of one or both Houses of the Oireachtas. The President must also consult with the Council of State in order to exercise some of their powers in relation to legislation. The Council of State was established under Article 31 of Bunreacht na hEireann (the Constitution).
There are 3 categories of members of the Council of State:
- Ex- officio members are those who are members by virtue of their office. These include the Taoiseach, the Tanáiste, the Chief Justice, the President of the High Court, the Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil, the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad and the Attorney General.
- Former office holders. These include every former President, Taoiseach and Chief Justice who is able and willing to act.
- Members appointed by the President. The President can appoint up to 7 members whose term on the Council only lasts as long as the President is in office. If the President has sufficient reason, he or she can terminate the appointment of any of these members.
Every new member of the Council of State must swear the following declaration set out in the Constitution;
"In the presence of Almighty God I, do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfil my duties as a member of the Council of State."