Module Title:Constitutional Law 1
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:8
Module Delivered In 4 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: Lectures - communication of knowledge and ideas from the lecturer to the student. Problem Solving Exercises - the student will work as part of a team and will work together to resolve various legal scenarios. Class Discussion/Debate - Students will be encouraged to actively participate in the class sessions which will develop their analytical and communication skills. E-Learning - It is envisaged that the module will be supported by online learning materials. Self-Direct Independent Learning - the emphasis on independent learning will develop strong and autonomous work and learning practices.
Module Aim: To provide students with an understanding of the functions, structure of, and interaction between, the legislative, judicial and executive powers of government in the context of the doctrine of the separation of powers, and the overarching matters of constitutional litigation and interpretation.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Describe the basic structure of government in Ireland and its historical development.
LO2 Describe, evaluate and explain the role of constitutional law in ensuring respect for human rights and democratic governance.
LO3 Identify and apply relevant constitutional law principles and doctrines for the purpose of solving hypothetical factual problems.
LO4 Critically examine the role of judicial interpretation in the development of constitutional law.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Irish Constitutional History
• Introduction to Constitutions and Constitutional Law • Dominion Status • The Irish Free State Constitution 1933 • The Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936 • Bunreacht na hEireann 1937
The People, the Nation and the State
• The Constitutional distinction between the People, the Nation and the State • The Interpretation by the Courts of the Distinction • Difficulties with the Distinction • Nationality and Citizenship
The President and the Council of State
• Eligibility and Nomination • Voting and Election • Privileges of Office • Powers of the President (including the power to refer Bills under Article 26) • Impeachment of the President • The Council of State – Membership and Functions • The Presidential Commission
Composition and Functioning of the Oireachtas
• Dail Eireann – Eligibility, Election, Functions, Ceann Comhairle, Powers and Privileges, Voting in the Dail • Seanad Eireann – Eligibility; Election; Composition, Cathaoirleach, Powers and Privileges
The Government and Central Administration
• Composition • Powers and Functions of Government – Collective Responsibility • The Taoiseach – appointment, powers and duties • The Taniste – appointment, powers and duties • Government Ministers • Dissolution of the Dail • General elections • The Defence Forces • The Garda Siochana • The Civil Service • Local Government • Public Agencies and Bodies • Executive Privilege • The Attorney General
Amendment of the Constitution/Referenda
• Constitutional Referenda • The Referendum Commission
International Relations
• International Relations • EU Membership • Inter-relationship between Irish Constitution and EU Law • Inter-relationship between Irish Constitution and International Law
The Separation of Powers
• Theory/Rationale behind the Doctrine • Separation of Powers in the Irish Constitution • Legislative Power • Executive Power • Judicial Power • Critical Analysis of the Doctrine
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment20.00%
End of Module Formal Examination80.00%
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Other n/a 1,2,3,4 20.00 n/a
No Project
No Practical
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam n/a 1,2,3,4 80.00 End-of-Semester

SETU Carlow Campus reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Every Week 3.00
Independent Learning Every Week 6.00
Total Hours 9.00
Workload: Part Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Every Week 1.50
Total Hours 1.50

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_BBLAW_B Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business with Law 3 Elective
CW_BBLEG_C_1 Higher Certificate in Arts in Legal Studies 3 Elective
CW_BBLAW_C Higher Certificate in Business with Law 3 Elective
CW_HHLAW_B Honours Bachelor of Laws Degree - LLB 1 Mandatory