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Can Ireland Legislate Contrary to European Community Law?


  • William Phelan


This paper considers whether Ireland can unilaterally legislate contrary to European Community law, and achieve the application of that legislation in Irish courts not withstanding the European Community law doctrines of supremacy and direct effect. It argues that the scholarship on the relationship between Irish law and European Community law, together with decisions of Irish courts, indicate that Ireland could legislate contrary to European Community law by amending the European Communities Act. More broadly, for member states of the European Union which – like Ireland – derive the application of European law in the national legal order from national legislation, it is not so much the 'constitutional' claims of European Community law that prevent the member states from legislating contrary to European Community law but rather the fact that the member states persistently refrain from legislating to limit the effect of Community law in the national jurisdictions which gives European Community law its 'constitutional' character.

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  • William Phelan, 2007. "Can Ireland Legislate Contrary to European Community Law?," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp237, IIIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp237
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