Eoin Daly

About Eoin Daly


Eoin Daly is a lecturer in the School of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His main interests lie in constitutional studies, political theory, religious freedom, the separation of church and state, republicanism, Rousseau and Rawls. You may contact Eoin at Eoin.Daly[at]nuigalway.ie.

Posts by Eoin Daly:

A Franco-Irish discussion on marriage equality at NUI Galway

The School of Law at NUI Galway, in association with the French embassy in Ireland, will host a Franco-Irish discussion on marriage equality on April 25th. The keynote speaker is Erwann Binet, deputy of the French National Assembly. Deputy Binet was the rapporteur for the French “pour tous” (marriage equality) bill in 2013 and will speak on(…)

Call for papers: judges, politics and the Irish Constitution

On September 4th 2014, the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, hosts its first annual Law and Government conference. The theme for the conference is Judges, Politics and the Irish Constitution. In the context of the recent Constitutional Convention, now is an apt time to reflect on the role of politics and law(…)

The ‘political’ nature of judicial appointments is probably intractable

The ‘political’ nature of judicial appointments is probably intractable

With the pending establishment of a new Court of Appeal and a predicted spate of senior judicial retirements in the coming year, the judicial appointments process is the subject of renewed debate. In recent years it has increasingly been accepted that the strongly political nature of Ireland’s judicial appointments system threatens to undermine public confidence(…)

The constitutional politics of the marriage-equality referendum

The government has finally committed to equalising marriage rights for same-sex couples by way of a referendum in 2015. The decision to hold a referendum – instead of using ordinary legislation – is not only unnecessary, I believe, but positively misguided. More to the point, the impulse to hold a referendum reflects many of the(…)

Marriage equality: French Constitutional Court rejects mayors’ conscience claim

The French Conseil Constitutionnel (constitutional court) has held that mayors and civil registrars who oppose same-sex marriage on grounds of conscience or religious belief  have no constitutional right to be exempted from the duty to officiate marriages between persons of the same sex. The decision (in French only) is available here. The case was taken by six(…)

Religious freedom arguments in the abortion debate

The political battle over the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act has given way to further dispute about the precise extent of the obligation it imposes on hospitals. An earlier draft of the Bill prohibited hospitals from refusing to perform legal abortions, although allowing conscientious objection for individual staff. While the individual right of objection(…)

Democracy, citizenship and the marriage referendum

Recently a video circulated on YouTube featuring an earnest young man, besuited and bearing flowers, knocking on every door in Ireland requesting permission to marry his beloved. It neatly illustrated the absurdity of holding a referendum to decide whether same-sex couples may be allowed marry: “how would you feel”, it asks “if you had to(…)

New focus needed in Oireachtas inquiries amendment

New focus needed in Oireachtas inquiries amendment

The groundswell of public anger following the “Anglo tapes” episode has led to calls for a fresh referendum to give the Oireachtas fuller powers to inquire into the events leading to the September 2008 bank guarantee. Although there is undoubtedly a public appetite for prosecutions, a public inquiry may play an important role in conclusively(…)

The Cabinet's "Council of Four" and the constitutional authority of Government

Colm Keaveney’s vote against the Social Welfare Bill this week inadvertently highlighted an interesting constitutional conundrum. Part of the Labour chair’s complaint was that responsibility for the budget had, allegedly, been delegated to the four-man “Economic Management Council”. He claimed that this new body – which has already been coined a “Government within the Government”(…)

Shadow constitutional convention #18: the referendum in liberal and republican thought

Eoin Daly, UCD. This essay is a part of our shadow constitutional convention series. “Direct democracy” has a bad press. While it has obvious practical limitations in mass democracies, plebiscitary government is sometimes also derided as inherently “populist” – and indeed, potentially dangerous for individual liberties. Its detractors claim that the referendum, as an instrument(…)

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