Dictatorship Blog: November 30 2015

Ireland, like any other republic, has provision for crises. Fundamental rights can be violated on public safety grounds. On paper, the death penalty is the only red line in an Irish dictatorial regime. If the emergency was serious enough, however, it is unlikely that this ‘red line’ would remain because of the absence of a normal justice system.

Article 28.3.3. of the Constitution regulates emergencies. The Constitution can be┬ásuspended save for the death penalty article. Emergency powers are to crush armed rebellion or to assist the State through a ‘time of war’ of which the State may not be a participant.

Dictatorial powers have been invoked on several occasions; in 1925, an Act was passed to deal with anti-Treaty forces. In 1939 the Special Criminal Court was instituted because of the World War and the emergency. The Emergency Powers Bill 1976 was passed in respect of the situation in Northern Ireland. The Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Act 2008 gave the Minister for Finance dictatorial powers to deal with the run on Anglo-Irish bank.

Emergency powers are necessary for any republic.Irish emergency powers are necessary to see off, not so much with violence or instability, but threats to the State.

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