Thursday 18 January 2018

Book of laws

•Surely we have to find a cure for the obsession with amending the Constitution. Apart from the current referenda and the many reports by the Oireachtas committees between 1997 and 2011, the Government has promised to establish a Constitutional Convention.

A constitution is not a transient book of rules. It is the fundamental law of the State, embodying its political philosophy and basic provisions relating to the formation and powers of the principal organs of government.

Formal amendment should arise in exceptional circumstances only, such as changes in the structure of the State or in its international relations. Otherwise, the challenge for the courts is to interpret the Constitution intelligently and imaginatively.

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