On Wednesday 6 November, the High Court refused to grant an injunction sought by People Before Profit TDs which would force a change to Dáil procedures, citing concerns over the separation of powers. This week’s TOTW examines ‘standing orders’, the idea that Houses of the Oireachtas should have the power to make their own rules.
The rules governing the formal manner of proceedings of a body. The Houses of the Oireachtas (qv) have the power to make their own rules and standing orders, with power to attach penalties for their infringement: 1937 Constitution, art.15.10. The Standing Orders currently in force in relation to the Dáil and Seanad are: Dáil Éireann Standing Orders Relative to Public Business 2016 and Seanad Éireann Standing Orders relative to Public Business 2011.
The procedures and Standing Orders followed in respect of the resolutions of the Dáil and Seanad in respect of the removal of a Circuit Court Judge must be presumed by the courts, to be constitutional: Curtin v Dáil Éireann [2006 SC] 2 IR 556; [2006 SC] 2 ILRM 99;  IESC 14.
It has been held that the requirement to regulate the business of each House by standing orders means that matters which were regulated by legislation, were beyond the exclusive jurisdiction of the Oireachtas under Art.15.10: Callely v Moylan  IEHC 2; [2011 HC] 1 IR 676; [2011 HC] 2 ILRM 339.
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