Paradise Deferred: Party Politics, Constitutional change, and the long finger in Ireland

By Bill Kissane. There are  different ways of involving the public in higher law making. Constitutions can be drafted  by constituent assemblies or constitutional conventions directly elected  for that purpose. Constitutional change can result from extraordinary public debates  outside the  formal representative arena,  when  a majority of the people   back radical change. Alternatively, the people…

Election of a Constitutional Assembly in Iceland 2010

Posted by David Farrell (written by James Gilmour) Following the financial crisis, demonstrations and riots outside the Parliament (Althingi), early elections in April 2009, and a significant change of government, the Icelandic Parliament voted on 16 June 2010 to set up a directly elected Constitutional Assembly “for the purpose of reviewing the Constitution of the…

Does Ireland need a new constitution?

Yesterday’s conference on constitutional reform brought together lawyers, political scientists and economists to discuss the question whther Ireland needs constitutional reform. Though the only media coverage of the even related to Michael McDowell ‘slamming’ the media, a much more interesting conclusion emerged. There was a surprising consensus on the answer to the question set –…

Labour Party’s proposals for constitutional reform a welcome addition to a much-needed political debate

Eamon Gilmore’s uplitfting ‘One Ireland’ speech to his party conference (http://bit.ly/crTAaq) this weekend ended with a set of interesting proposals for political, public sector and constitutional reform, with some pretty novel ideas such as the one to establish a Department of Public Service Reform. The major plus was just how many of the issues that…