The research for this book was prompted by a combination of events, in particular the election of Mary Robinson as President of Ireland (November 1990) and the X case which rocked Irish society (February 1992). The book is an exploration of the dynamics between the Irish and European courts, the legislators and the Irish citizens in relation to certain socio-sexual questions: divorce, contraception, abortion and homosexuality. Spanning the years since the creation of the Irish State, it questions the nature of the moral order regulating Irish society and the concept of democracy underlying it: from a moral order based on the natural law and Victorian ideology, to a moral order based on the fundamental rights of individuals. In the process, Ireland has swapped a crude concept of democracy based on majority rule, for one based on the rights of minorities of all kinds to be decriminalised and consensus so that all, be they Catholic, Protestant, atheist, homosexual or divorced, can live together harmoniously.
The book examines the fragile balance struck between tradition and modernity, and is an indirect tribute to the work of former President Mary Robinson as a constitutional lawyer and senator.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan