The history of Ireland makes researching the law of this country complex. From 1801 through 1922 Ireland was a part of the United Kingdom, with the same legal system. If you are researching the law of this period, see the Historic tab of our United Kingdom guide (link below). Many of the laws established during this period still exist, and there continues to be a great deal of overlap between the Irish and British legal systems. Increasing differences in some areas of law, such as court procedure, property law, and banking are worth noting.
Ireland joined the EU in 1973.
Ireland has two official languages, Irish and English, and a written constitution which was adopted in 1937.
The highest court in the Irish judicial system is the Supreme Court. For more about the court system, including a database of recent judgments and a searchable database of High Court case law, visit the Courts Service website.
The Law Library holds some older Irish case law in print in the Sub-basement range 23 - 24. For recent case law see electronic resources.
The Irish Parliament is made up of an upper and lower chamber, with bills approved by Parliament being passed to the President for final signature. It is the Prime Minister who is the leader of the cabinet, as the leader of the largest Parliamentary party.