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Separation of Powers

When matters are settled and not the subject of lively debate it is easy for the citizens to forget how important some ideas are.

The principle of the Separation of Powers is one of those ideas.

In Ireland we have adopted that principle and expressed it in Article 15 of the Irish Constitution.

It is possible to undermine that Constitution.

Consider the truncated “debate” of the Criminal Justice Bill in the Dail. It was truncated by the Minister for Justice Equality and Law Reform (the Tanaiste), bringing stinging rebukes from the Opposition HERE and HERE and HERE

That process diminishes the role of the Legislature at the expense of the Executive.

Elsewhere the Minister has been critical of the Judiciary in relation to sentencing.

The Judiciary have responded to that and have their own methods of combat, no doubt.

But, individually they are each a person generally trying to do the best they can in a conscientious way. Which is not to endorse everything that is done by every judge. (The writer does not warrant that something similar could not happen here).

There are consequences, not just for Civil Society, of politicised attacks on the Judiciary; see HERE for evidence of some of the other less obvious potential consequences.