Natural Law in Early Twentieth Century Ireland – State (Ryan) v Lennon and its Aftermath

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Title: Natural Law in Early Twentieth Century Ireland – State (Ryan) v Lennon and its Aftermath
Authors: Mohr, Thomas
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Date: 4-Mar-2021
Online since: 2021-07-02T11:58:56Z
Abstract: This article examines the relationship between natural law and Irish law held by constitutional drafters, academic commentators and judges in the early twentieth century. References to natural law values in interpreting Irish law were not acceptable before 1922 when the entire island of Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom. The emergence of the self-governing Irish Free State in 1922 did not immediately change this position and natural law was limited to a peripheral position during the drafting of the first Irish Constitution. This article examines how and why the use of natural law by the Irish courts became increasingly acceptable by the middle of the twentieth century. It will also examine the connection between the drafting of the 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State and the 1934 judgment of the Supreme Court in State (Ryan) v Lennon. This provides a new perspective on the judgments delivered in this case and on the origins of the use of natural law in interpreting Irish constitutional law. The article will also examine the legacy of State (Ryan) v Lennon, the position of natural law in the 1937 Irish Constitution and the evolving position of natural law in the decades that followed.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Routledge
Journal: Journal of Legal History
Volume: 42
Issue: 1
Start page: 1
End page: 34
Keywords: Irish Free State1922 constitution1937 constitutionNatural LawState (Ryan) v Lennon
DOI: 10.1080/01440365.2021.1893946
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0144-0365
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Appears in Collections:Law Research Collection

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