Legal and Constitutional Issues arising from the 2020 General Election
39 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 27, 2020
In 1989, a series of novel legal issues arising out of the general election of the same year were examined by the first named writer. If the aftermath of the election of 1989 seemed unusual, it pales in comparison to the series of events that took place following the 2020 general election. It seems timely to re-visit some of the issues explored in the 1989, as well as considering some of the new issues thrown up by the 2020 general election. In this article, we analyse the following questions: what is the effect of a death of a general election candidate? Is the outgoing Taoiseach obliged to resign if he is not re-elected as Taoiseach on the date of the first sitting of the Dáil following the general election, and no other candidate for that office is elected on that day? What is the scope of powers afforded to a caretaker Taoiseach and his Ministers? Is the Seanad validly constituted if a new Taoiseach has not nominated eleven members? If not, can the Oireachtas continue to pass legislation over which the Seanad has a more limited role? Many of these questions assumed new relevance in the context of the actions taken by the acting Government during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Constitutional law
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation