Irish legislation can be accessed via the electronic Irish Statute Book web site (eISB) which is produced and maintained by the Office of the Attorney General.
Users can browse and search for legislation via the electronic Irish Statute Book database which contains:
Acts are published as enacted. Some areas of the law are consolidated from time to time in the form of a legally binding consolidated act for example the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010 (31/2010).
The official version of the Acts of the Oireachtas and Statutory Instruments remains the printed version published by the Stationery Office.
Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The National Parliament (Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses: Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate) whose functions and powers derive from the Constitution of Ireland enacted by the People on 1st July, 1937.
Legislation encompasses primary legislation: law enacted by the Dáil and Seanad and signed by the President and secondary legislation (regulations, rules, orders, etc.) made under the authority of an Act.
Primary legislation: Acts of the Oireachtas
The sole and exclusive power of making laws is vested in the Oireachtas subject to the obligations of European Union membership as provided for in the Constitution of Ireland.
All Acts of the Oireachtas start life as Bills which are proposals for legislation initiated in either the Dáil or Seanad. Bills applicable to the general body of citizens are called Public Bills and those promoted by local authorities and private bodies or individuals for their own purpose are called Private Bills. These are very rare and are dealt with under separate procedures.
Secondary Legislation: Statutory Instruments
Secondary legislation, in the form of Statutory Instruments, is governed by the Statutory Instruments Act 1947. There are five main types of statutory instrument: orders, regulations, rules, by-laws and schemes.
Statutory Instruments have a wide variety of functions. They are not enacted by the Oireachtas but are made by persons or bodies to whom legislative power has been delegated by Statute in relation to detailed day-to-day matters arising from the operation of the relevant primary legislation.
Statutory Instruments are used, for example, to implement European Directives, designate the days on which particular District Courts sit and delegate the powers of Ministers. Specified Government Ministers and other agencies and bodies are authorised to make Statutory Instruments by particular Acts and several hundred instruments are made annually.
Legislation Directory (formerly Chronological Tables)
The purpose of the Legislation Directory is to enable users of Irish Statutes to identify whether a particular Act has been amended or otherwise affected since its enactment. The Legislation Directory is produced by the Law Reform Commission ( www.lawreform.ie/as-gaeilge.48.html ) and is published on the eISB web site.
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