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Reviewing Constitutions: the Role of Constitutional Conventions


Thursday, April 28, 2016, 15:00 - 17:00


Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2


Please send expressions of interest to attend this event to

This is the second in a series of six events themed around the constitution.

As the Irish Constitution entered its middle age in the late twentieth century, it was subjected to a range of reviews following different approaches: an intensive, one-off analysis by parliamentarians (the Committee on the Constitution, 1967), a comprehensive examination by a committee of experts (the Constitution Review Group, 1996), a series of reviews of specific aspects by all-party joint parliamentary committees (1997-2010), and a detailed study of selected aspects of the constitution by a group made up mainly of randomly selected citizens (the Constitutional Convention 2012-14).

Professor David Farrell, MRIA, School of Politics and International Relations, UCD, will be chairing this conversation.

Mr Tom Arnold, MRIA, Director General, IIEA, panelist
Mr Art O'Leary, Secretary General to the President, panelist
Dr Jane Suiter, School of Communications, DCU, panelist

The three panelists will each speak very briefly to address the following three points:

  1. to assess the value of the Convention of 2012-14,
  2. to speculate on the desirability of a similar new body to address fresh issues, and
  3. to suggest ways in which the effectiveness of this formula might be enhanced.

The chair will then facilitate a conversation amongst the attendees and the panellists and  to which the Chatham House Rule will apply. 

Two bursaries of €50.00 each are available to post-graduate students. To make an application for a bursary contact John Coakley, MRIA at Include a CV and up to 500 words outlining your reasons for wishing to attend the conversation, and how your attendance would assist with your studies.

The complete Constitutional Conversations series consists of:

1. Constitutions, referendums and the family 2nd March 2016, 14:00, Royal Irish Academy
2. Reviewing constitutions: the role of constitutional conventions   28th April 2016, 15:00, Royal Irish Academy
3.1 Constitutions and these islands: beyond Brexit: Part I-Dublin   6th May 2016, 10:30, Royal Irish Academy
3.2 Constitutions and these islands: beyond Brexit: Part II-Belfast    15th September 2016, Queen's University Belfast
4. The idea of a republic: freedom and politics  8th June 2016, 18:00, Royal Irish Academy
5. Digital citizenship 30th June 2016, 14:00, Royal Irish Academy
6. Commemorations and the constitution   September 2016, Royal Irish Academy

The series is organised by the RIA's Ethical, Political, Legal and Philosophical Studies Committee with sponsorship from Mason Hayes & Curran.

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