> Skip to content
  • Published: 5 September 2016
  • ISBN: 9781844883417
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

The Supreme Court




It intrigues outsiders, can make governments tremble and has played a key role in some of the biggest controversies in Irish society. Yet very little is known about Ireland's Supreme Court - one of the most powerful institutions in the country.Who are the judges? How are they appointed? What happens once the door closes and they retreat to their chambers? And how do the judges and government negotiate one of the most delicate relationships in Ireland's power structure?This book - the first ever written on the subject - is a revealing account of a fascinating institution.%%%The inside story of the institution that has shaped Ireland.It intrigues outsiders, can make governments tremble and has played a key role in some of the biggest controversies in Irish society. Yet very little is known about Ireland's Supreme Court - one of the most powerful institutions in the country.This book - the first ever written on the subject - is a revealing account of a fascinating institution.Ruadhán Mac Cormaic is Foreign Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times. He was the newspaper's Legal Affairs Correspondent from 2013 to 2015 and before that was Paris Correspondent. From Dublin, he was educated at Trinity College Dublin and Cambridge University. The Supreme Court is his first book.%%%The judges, the decision, the rifts and the rivalries - the gripping inside story of the institution that has shaped Ireland.'The intimacy of the Supreme Court chamber can make it an intimidating arena. A barrister on his or her feet stands close enough to the judges to see each grimace, each raised eyebrow, each flash of momentary incomprehension on their faces. The power imbalance is total. Barristers bow as they enter and stand when the judges stand. They meekly humour the crankier judges' bad moods and laugh ostentatiously at every joke from the bench. In return they can be flayed at any moment. "It's the equivalent of the wall of death for barristers," says one senior counsel.'The work of the Supreme Court is at the heart of the private and public life of the nation. Whether it's a father trying to overturn his child's adoption, a woman asserting her right to control her fertility, republicans fighting extradition, political activists demanding an equal hearing in the media, women seeking to serve on juries, the state attempting to prevent a teenager ending her pregnancy, a couple challenging the tax laws, a gay man fighting his criminalization simply for being gay, a disabled young man and his mother seeking to vindicate his right to an education, the court's decisions can change lives.However, in close to a century of its existence, the Supreme Court's story is largely unwritten and beyond their judgements its members have remained silent.Now, having had unprecedented access to a vast number of sources, and conducted hundreds of interviews, including with key insiders, award-winning Irish Times journalist Ruadhan Mac Cormaic lifts the veil on the court's hidden world.The Supreme Court reveals new and surprising information about well-known cases. It exposes the sometimes fractious relationship between the court and the government. But above all it tells a story about people - those who brought the cases, those who argued in court, those who dealt with the fallout and, above all, those who took the decisions. Judges' backgrounds and relationships, their politics and temperaments, as well as the internal tensions between them, are vital to understanding how the court works and are explored here in fascinating detail.The Supreme Court is both a riveting read and an important and revealing account of one of the most powerful institutions of our state.Ruadhan Mac Cormaic is the former Legal Affairs Correspondent and Paris Correspondent of the Irish Times. He is now the paper's Foreign Affair

  • Published: 5 September 2016
  • ISBN: 9781844883417
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

Related titles