Module Details

Module Code: LAWS C4R12
Module Title: Constitutional Law 1
Title: Constitutional Law 1
Module Level:: 8
Credits:: 5
Module Coordinator: Eileen Doyle
Module Author:: John Tully
Module Description: To provide students with an understanding of the functions, structure of, and interaction between, the legislative, judicial and executive powers of government in the context of the doctrine of the separation of powers, and the overarching matters of constitutional litigation and interpretation.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
# Learning Outcome Description
LO1 Describe the basic structure of government in Ireland and its historical development.
LO2 Describe, evaluate and explain the role of constitutional law in ensuring respect for human rights and democratic governance.
LO3 Identify and apply relevant constitutional law principles and doctrines for the purpose of solving hypothetical factual problems.
LO4 Critically examine the role of judicial interpretation in the development of constitutional law.
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
Additional Requisite Information
No Co Requisites listed
Indicative Content
Irish Constitutional History
• Introduction to Constitutions and Constitutional Law • Dominion Status • The Irish Free State Constitution 1933 • The Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936 • Bunreacht na hEireann 1937
The People, the Nation and the State
• The Constitutional distinction between the People, the Nation and the State • The Interpretation by the Courts of the Distinction • Difficulties with the Distinction • Nationality and Citizenship
The President and the Council of State
• Eligibility and Nomination • Voting and Election • Privileges of Office • Powers of the President (including the power to refer Bills under Article 26) • Impeachment of the President • The Council of State – Membership and Functions • The Presidential Commission
Composition and Functioning of the Oireachtas
• Dail Eireann – Eligibility, Election, Functions, Ceann Comhairle, Powers and Privileges, Voting in the Dail • Seanad Eireann – Eligibility; Election; Composition, Cathaoirleach, Powers and Privileges
The Government and Central Administration
• Composition • Powers and Functions of Government – Collective Responsibility • The Taoiseach – appointment, powers and duties • The Taniste – appointment, powers and duties • Government Ministers • Dissolution of the Dail • General elections • The Defence Forces • The Garda Siochana • The Civil Service • Local Government • Public Agencies and Bodies • Executive Privilege • The Attorney General
Amendment of the Constitution/Referenda
• Constitutional Referenda • The Referendum Commission
International Relations
• International Relations • EU Membership • Inter-relationship between Irish Constitution and EU Law • Inter-relationship between Irish Constitution and International Law
The Separation of Powers
• Theory/Rationale behind the Doctrine • Separation of Powers in the Irish Constitution • Legislative Power • Executive Power • Judicial Power • Critical Analysis of the Doctrine
Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment20.00%
End of Module Formal Examination80.00%


Full Time

Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Other % of Total Mark 20
Timing n/a Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4
Non-marked No
Assessment Description
No Project
No Practical
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Formal Exam % of Total Mark 80
Timing End-of-Semester Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4
Non-marked No
Assessment Description
Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

SETU Carlow Campus reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Category Contact Type Workload Description Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload Hours
Lecture Contact No Description Every Week 3.00 3
Independent Learning Non Contact No Description Every Week 6.00 6
Total Weekly Contact Hours 3.00
Workload: Part Time
Workload Type Workload Category Contact Type Workload Description Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload Hours
Lecture Contact No Description Every Week 1.50 1.5
Total Weekly Contact Hours 1.50
Module Resources
Recommended Book Resources
  • Dr Oran Doyle,Tom Hickey (Law teacher). Constitutional Law, [ISBN: 1911611275].
  • James Casey. (2000), Constitutional Law and Ireland, Round Hall, Sweet & Maxwell, [ISBN: 1899738630].
  • Michael Ford, David Leonard. Constitutional Law of Ireland, 3. Bloomsbury Professional; 1st edition (14 Oct. 2016).
  • Gerard Hogan, Gerry White, et al.. Kelly: The Irish Constitution, 5.
  • Ireland. Bunreacht Na HÉireann, [ISBN: 0707662427].
This module does not have any article/paper resources
This module does not have any other resources
Discussion Note: