AuthorCaoimhe Stafford
The Celtic Tiger may be long gone, but the roar of the Irish people has never
been louder. In the past year, citizens have routinely dismissed the
government’s rhetoric of growth and recovery, and they are increasingly
questioning political and legal decisions. Indeed, as this Volume was
compiled in House 6 of Trinity College, the Editorial Board listened to the
chants of thousands marching in protest against incoming water charges.
This heightened criticism levelled at members of government indicates a
growing frustration with the state of our law, but that is not all: there is a
progressive realisation that we have some ownership over the law and its
effects. The traditional obtuseness of the law is no longer accepted as a
matter of course. Perhaps this claim is best evidenced by the Constitutional
Convention, which has prompted a number of referenda that will take place
in the coming year. Arguably, the most significant of these is the same-sex
marriage referendum. There is a sincere awareness that the outcome of the
referendum is important, and that the power to shape our own and others’
perception of a modern Ireland, for better or for worse, lies in our hands.
It is younger generations in particular who seem to understand that
mere criticism, without action or proposals for reform, can only achieve so
much. The Trinity College Law Review has endeavoured to stimulate such
discussion this year with a renewed Distinguished Speaker Series, the
launch of the “Alternative Perspectives” writing competition for non law-
students, and the introduction of a blog run by our Junior Editorial Board. I
believe that the twelve articles contained in this Volume further reflect this
dynamic and rehabilitative approach to legal critique. Each author has not
only successfully critiqued their own chosen field of law, but they have also
offered thoughtful and original suggestions for improvements to the law,
and legal thinking more generally.
We open this Volume with one such article: “Ireland and Judicial
(In)dependence in Light of the Twenty-Ninth Amendment to the
Constitution.” In this article, Clare Kelly argues that the twenty-ninth
amendment has adversely affected judicial independence, and advocates for
an independent judicial pay commission in order to rectify its impact. “Law
and Indeterminacy: Causes and Consequences” by Conor Casey, is more
theoretical in its consideration of judicial reasoning. Casey discusses two
distinct approaches to the legal indeterminacy critique the strong and weak
theses. He argues that they both provide insightful critiques of conventional
formalist legal reasoning, but also contends that they are somewhat

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