Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland

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The Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland permitted the state to ratify the Maastricht Treaty. It was effected by the Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1992, which was approved by referendum on 18 June 1992 and signed into law on 16 July of the same year.

Changes to the text[edit]

  • Deletion from Article 29.4.3 (removed text in bold and ruled):
The State may become a member of the European Coal and Steel Community (established by Treaty signed at Paris on the 18th day of April, 1951), the European Economic Community (established by Treaty signed at Rome on the 25th day of March, 1957) and the European Atomic Energy Community (established by Treaty signed at Rome on the 25th day of March, 1957). The State may ratify the Single European Act (signed on behalf of the Member States of the Communities at Luxembourg on the 17th day of February, 1986, and at The Hague on the 28th day of February, 1986). No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State necessitated by the obligations of membership of the Communities, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the Communities, or institutions thereof, from having the force of law in the State.
  • Insertion of new Article 29.4.4:
The State may ratify the Treaty on European Union signed at Maastricht on the 7th day of February, 1992, and may become a member of that Union.
  • Insertion of new Article 29.4.5:
No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State which are necessitated by the obligations of membership of the European Union or of the Communities, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the European Union or by the Communities or by institutions thereof, or by bodies competent under the Treaties establishing the Communities, from having the force of law in the State.
  • Insertion of new Article 29.4.6:
The State may ratify the Agreement relating to Community Patents drawn up between the Member States of the Communities and done at Luxembourg on the 15th day of December, 1989.

Overview[edit]

The Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution was one of a number of amendments that have been made to expressly permit the state to ratify changes to the founding treaties of the European Union (then known as the European Community) (others have been the Tenth, Eighteenth and Twenty-sixth Amendments). These amendments were all adopted in response to the 1987 ruling of the Supreme Court, in the case of Crotty v. An Taoiseach, that major changes to the treaties are unconstitutional unless accompanied by an amendment. However it has been a matter of scholarly dispute as to whether or not each of these treaties has been sufficiently far-reaching as to actually necessitate a referendum. The official name of the Maastricht Treaty is the Treaty on European Union. While the changes shown above are those made to the English-language version of the constitution, constitutionally it is the text that has precedence.

The Eleventh Amendment was introduced by a Fianna FáilProgressive Democrats coalition government but the only parties to oppose it were Democratic Left and the Green Party. Some pro-life groups also opposed the treaty, arguing that it might lead to legalised abortion in the Republic. Voting in the referendum went 1,001,076 (69.1%) in favour and 448,655 (30.9%) against.

Result[edit]

Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland referendum[1]
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 1,001,076 69.05
No 448,655 30.95
Valid votes 1,449,731 99.49
Invalid or blank votes 7,488 0.51
Total votes 1,457,219 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 2,542,840 57.31

See also[edit]

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