This chapter provides relevant historical context by explaining how Southern Ireland broke away from the United Kingdom in 1922 and became a Dominion under the name of the Irish Free State. It describes how the court system developed before and after the partition of Ireland, focusing on the transition from the Dáil Éireann courts to the proposals in the report of the Judiciary Committee in 1923, which led to the Courts of Justice Act 1924. The nature of the proposed Supreme Court of Ireland is compared with that of Supreme Courts in other dominions at that time, with particular regard to the judicial power to subject legislation to constitutional review. Despite references to Canada in the Irish Free State’s Constitution, few lessons were drawn from the experience of Canada’s Supreme Court or any other top national court.
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