Royal Assent (Ireland)

Royal Assent (Ireland)

Royal Assent (Ireland)

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The granting, reserving or withholding of the Royal Assent was one of the key roles, and potentially one of the key powers, possessed by the Governor-General of the Irish Free State. Until it was granted, no bill passed by the Oireachtas (composed of the Dáil and the Seanad) could complete its passage of enactment and become law.

Origins of the power

The power was created in Article 41 of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922 enacted both by the Third Dáil meeting as a constituent assembly and by the Parliament of the United Kingdom and brought into force by a royal proclamation of 6 December 1922.

Anglo-Irish Treaty

The role of the Governor-General in legislative enactment was initially defined in the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed in 1921 between plenipotentiaries of the UDI Irish Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and which was ratified by three bodies; the United Kingdom parliament, the Second Dáil and the House of Commons of Southern Ireland in December 1921-January 1922.

The reason for the Royal Assent

All legislation enacted by the Oireachtas of Saorstát Éireann required the Royal Assent to become law for three reasons.
  1. Article 12 stated that the Oireachtas consisted "of the King and two Houses, the Chamber of Deputies (... "Dáil Éireann") and the Senate (... "Seanad Éireann")". As a result the King through his representative, the Governor-General, was a full participant in law making.
  2. In the......
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