Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Ireland: Models of Constitutionalisation



Boyle K (2014) Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Ireland: Models of Constitutionalisation. Irish Community Development Law Journal, 3 (1), pp. 33-48.

The recommendation of the Constitutional Convention in Ireland to strengthen the protection of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights in the Irish Constitution marks a historic moment in the trajectory of human rights protection in Ireland. This article explores potential options open to Ireland for ESC constitutionalisation. This examination is predicated with some of the legal considerations around the potential constitutionalisation of ESC rights including: an explanation of what is meant by ESC rights; whether ESC rights are already protected in Ireland; whether the Constitution is an appropriately place for their protection; and whether a legal mandate exists to constitutionalise these rights. The constitutional models are then examined in terms of their legitimacy and viability according to the particular circumstances of Ireland and the appropriate separation of powers between executive, legislative and judicial branches of the State is considered. The article concludes with a template for ESC constitutionalisation taking into consideration the allocation of limited financial resources available to the State and the possibility of conflicting constitutional rights.

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Ireland; Constitutional Models

Irish Community Development Law Journal: Volume 3, Issue 1

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date30/06/2014
PublisherOxford University Press
Publisher URL…ractice.564.html

People (1)


Professor Katie Boyle
Professor Katie Boyle

Chair of International Human Rights Law, Law