Bunreacht na hÉireann, the Constitution of Ireland, is the basic law of Ireland. Laws passed by the Oireachtas must congrue with it, not be repugnant to it. The Constitution can be changed only by a referendum in which every citizen of Ireland, over the age of eighteen, is entitled to vote. The Constitution was passed in a referendum on 1 July 1937. It came into operation on 29 December 1937. The present Constitution replaced the Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) which came into existence in 1922. Learn more about the Constitution...
Following the election of the Twenty-Ninth Dáil and Seanad in May 2002, the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution was re-constituted by the Taoiseach with the concurrence of the leaders of the political parties and the independent members — the committee is an informal Oireachtas committee — and held its inaugural meeting on 17 December 2002.
In order to provide focus on the place and relevance of the Constitution and to establish those areas where Constitutional change may be desirable or necessary, the All-Party Committee shall complete the full review of the Constitution begun by the two previous committees. In undertaking this review, the All-Party Committee will have regard to the following:
a) the Report of the Constitution Review Group
b) participation in the All-Party Committee would involve no obligation to support any recommendations which might be made, even if made unanimously
c) members of the All-Party Committee, either as individuals or as Party representatives, would not be regarded as committed in any way to support such recommendations
d) members of the All-Party Committee shall keep their respective Party Leaders informed from time to time of the progress of the Committee's work
e) none of the parties, in Government or Opposition, would be precluded from dealing with matters within the All-Party Committee's terms of reference while it is sitting.