Article 34 of Bunreacht na hEireann (the Irish Constitution) sets down that the courts system in Ireland will include a Court of Final Appeal. This Court of Final Appeal is known in Ireland as the 'Supreme Court'. The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice and 9 ordinary judges. The President of the Court of Appeal and the President of the High Court are additional judges of the Supreme Court. This court is located in Dublin.
Appeals are heard and determined by five judges unless the Chief Justice directs that any appeal or other matter (apart from matters relating to the Constitution) should be heard and determined by three judges.
The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is as follows:
In a case where a proposed Bill has been referred to the Supreme Court it is heard before seven judges. A barrister represents the Office of the Attorney General, arguing the Bill is constitutional and should remain as it is. The Court appoints another barrister to set out the reasons why the Bill is unconstitutional and should not be enacted.
In cases examining whether or not a Bill is constitutional, the Supreme Court makes one decision and this decision is final. If the Court finds the Bill is contrary or repugnant to the Constitution, it cannot be enacted into law in its present form.
Further information on the Supreme Court is available at supremecourt.ie.
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.