Irish Law for an Irish Day

A close-up of a four leaf clover.

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve created a pared-down primer of the best free sources of Irish law, followed by links to a few, perhaps more interesting, Irish legal websites.

The focus of our post today is the Republic of Ireland. For sources covering the law of Northern Ireland,  see the Great Library’s general guide, Where to Find UK and Irish Law.

Caselaw

The Courts Service of Ireland

  • access recent decisions of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court
  • view decisions from all courts by year (2001- ) or search by keyword

BAILII (British and Irish Legal Information Institute)

  • browse or search for judgments from the Supreme Court (1970s- ), Court of Criminal Appeal (1980s- ), Court of Appeal (2014- ), Hight Court (1970s- ) and others.

See also The Courts System (The Bar of Ireland) for a chart and overview of the structure of the Irish courts.

Legislation

The Irish Statute Book

  • use it to find Acts of the Oireachtas (1922- ), Statutory Rules and Orders (1922 – 1947), Statutory Instruments (1948- ) and a selection of pre-1922 Legislation.
  • this source also has an excellent FAQ section providing guidance on working with Irish legislation.

BAILII (British and Irish Legal Information Institute)

  • browse or search for acts and statutory instruments (1922- )

Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament of Ireland)

  • find bills, debates and committee proceedings of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Selected sites related to Irish law:

Irish Legal Glossary (Harvard Law School Library)

Brush up on the meaning of Gaelic terms, such as Bunreacht na hÉireann and Oireachtas, with this brief glossary.

Trailblazers 1919-2019: 100 Years of Women at the Bar (The Bar of Ireland Law Library)

To mark the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, the Bar of Ireland Library Services have curated an online exhibition of the first 100 women called to the Bar in Ireland.

The History of the Law in Ireland (The Courts Service of Ireland)

Traces the journey of Irish law from ancient Celtic legal traditions (which survived until the 17th century) through the spread of English common law over the 18th to 21st centuries.

James Joyce, Ulysses and the Meaning of Obscenity (Law Library of Congress blog)

The battle to allow the great Irish writer’s most famous novel to be published in America ended with federal Judge John M. Woolsey’s ruling in United States v. One Book Called “Ulysses”. The judge ruled the work was not obscene, setting a new test for obscenity and paving the way for the publishing of Ulysses in other countries.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!☘️