The Prerogative and its Survival in Ireland: Dusty Antique or Positively Useful?

Laura Cahillane

Volume 1 Issue 2 Article 1

Recently in Britain, there has been a discussion as to whether the Royal Prerogative is still a necessary part of the law. However, in Ireland, there is still confusion over whether the Prerogative actually exists in this jurisdiction. This is an issue which, if it had arisen during the debates on the Irish Free State Constitution, would have been irrevocably settled but it did not come up in 1922 and this has caused some controversy. This article examines the arguments for and against the survival of Prerogative in Ireland and the evidence in support of the various claims. The modern, seminal cases in which it was decided that Prerogative did not survive, and a more recent case in which the finality of the previous decisions was questioned, are first briefly examined. An examination of the various arguments in relation to Prerogative survival follows. Older cases from the 1920s and 1930s are then considered. Conclusions are drawn from the examination of the survival arguments and a solution proposed. Finally, the contemporary relevance of the Prerogative is considered.


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