Irish Constitutional Change, 1920-1922


A video of the event can be watched here


Spring Discourse (via webinar) 2021

During the period 1920-1922, the Government of Northern Ireland was established, ‘’Articles of agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland’ were signed, and the constitution of the Irish Free State was adopted.

When the dust of the War of Independence had settled, the Irish constitutional landscape had changed dramatically. Under the Government of Ireland Act, 1920 a devolved administration with a Home Rule Parliament had been established in Belfast for six of the Ulster counties. The act had been a failure in the remaining 26 counties where, following partition, a solution was found in dominion status, so that the Irish Free State bore a relationship to the United Kingdom similar to that of Canada.

In this Webinar, John Larkin, Bláthna Ruane and Thomas Mohr will examine the legal steps during that period by which Northern ireland and the Irish Free State were established and the constitution arrangements which then emerged and what irish people thought of their new consitutional arrangements.

John Larkin QC is a practising barrister at the Bar of Northern Ireland and a former Attorney General for that jurisdiction. He will speak to the topic:-

One Irish Constitution, two Irish Parliaments: the Government of Ireland Act, 1920

Dr Bláthna Ruane SC is a Senior Counsel, who has written widely on the constitution, law and government. She is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Sutherland School of Law at University College, Dublin and was a member of the Constitution Review Group 1995-6. She will speak to the topic:-

The ‘so-called Treaty’: the implications of legal form for achieving settlement

Dr Thomas Mohr is an associate professor in the Sutherland School of Law at UCD and the author of Guardian of the Treaty published by Four Courts Press in association with the Society in 2016. He will speak to the topic;-

What did Irish people think of the Free State Constitution in 1922.”



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