Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922

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Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922
The Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed in 1922, in order to bring into force the Constitution of the Irish Free State. The terms of this constitution provided that it could only come into force once it had been passed by both the British Parliament and the Irish Constituent Assembly.

The Constitution of the Irish Free State was first enacted by the Constituent Assembly as a part of the Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) Act, 1922. This act as a whole was then passed by the British Parliament as a part of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922. The Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) Act is therefore included within the Irish Free State Constitution Act as an appended schedule.

Because the first and only schedule to the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922 is mere a reproduction of the Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) Act, 1922 it is omitted here. For the text of the Irish act see external links. The modern Australian constitution was also enshrined within an act of the British Parliament—the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act—but method of its adoption was less elaborate.

The text in brackets in the section headings below is for the guidance of readers and not a part of the original document.


The Act[edit]

An Act to provide for the Constitution of the Irish Free State. [5th December 1922]

WHEREAS the House of Parliament constituted pursuant to the Irish Free State (Agreement) Act, 1922, sitting as a Constituent Assembly for the settlement of the Constitution of the Irish Free State, has passed the Measure (hereinafter referred to as "the Constituent Act") set forth in the Schedule to this Act, whereby the Constitution appearing as the First Schedule to the Constituent Act is declared to be the Constitution of the Irish Free State:

And whereas by the Constituent Act the said Constitution is made subject to the following provisions, namely:—

"The said Constitution shall be construed with reference to the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland set forth in the Second Schedule hereto annexed (hereinafter referred to as the Scheduled Treaty) which are hereby given the force of law, and if any provision of the said Constitution or of any amendment thereof or of any law made thereunder is in any respect repugnant to any of the provisions of the Scheduled Treaty, it shall, to the extent only of such repugnancy, be absolutely void and inoperative and the Parliament and the Executive Council of the Irish Free State shall respectively pass such further legislation and do all such other things as may be necessary to implement the Scheduled Treaty".

And whereas by Article seventy-four of the said Constitution provision is made for the continuance within the Irish Free State of existing taxation in respect of the current present financial year and any preceding financial year, and in respect of any period ending or occasion happening within those years, and it is expedient to make a corresponding provision with respect to taxation within the rest of the United Kingdom:

Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by authority of the same as follows:—


Section 1 (Constitution of the Irish Free State)[edit]

The Constitution set forth in the First Schedule to the Constituent Act shall, subject to the provisions to which the same is by the Constituent Act so made subject as aforesaid, be the Constitution of the Irish Free State, and shall come into operation on the same being proclaimed by His Majesty in accordance with Article eighty-three of the said Constitution, but His Majesty may at any time after the proclamation appoint a Governor-General for the Irish Free State.

Section 2 (Temporary continuation of system of taxation)[edit]

(1) In relation to taxes and duties, so far as leviable outside the Irish Free State, the following provisions shall have effect:-

(a) The establishment of the Irish Free State shall not affect any liability to pay any tax or duty payable in respect of the current or any preceding financial year, or in respect of any period ending on or before the last day of the current financial year, or payable on any occasion happening within the current or preceding financial year, or the amount of such liability and all such taxes and duties as aforesaid and arrears thereof shall continue to be assessed, levied, and collected and all payments and allowances of such taxes and duties shall continue to be made in like manner in all respects as immediately before the establishment of the Irish Free State, subject to the like adjustments of the proceeds collected as were heretofore applicable.
(b) Goods transported during the current financial year from or to the Irish Free State to or from any other part of the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man shall not, except in respect of the forms to be used and the information to be furnished, be treated as goods imported or exported as the case may be.

(2) If an arrangement is made with the Irish Free State for an extension of the provisions of this section as respects all or any taxes and duties to the next ensuing financial year or any part thereof, it shall be lawful for His Majesty, if a resolution to that effect is passed by the Commons House of Parliament, by Order in Council to extend the provisions of this section so as to apply, in the case of the taxes and duties to which the arrangement relates, in respect to the next ensuing financial year or part thereof in like manner as it applies in respect to the current financial year.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the expression "financial year" means, as respects income tax (including super-tax), the year of assessment, and as respects other taxes and duties, the year ending on the thirty-first day of March.

Section 3 (Power to adopt Acts applicable to other Dominions)[edit]

If the Parliament of the Irish Free State make provision to that effect, any Act passed before the passing of this Act which applies to or may be applied to self-governing Dominions, whether alone or to such Dominions and other parts of His Majesty's Dominions, shall apply or may be applied to the Irish Free State in like manner as it applies or may be applied to self-governing Dominions.

Section 4 (Saving)[edit]

Nothing in the said Constitution shall be construed as prejudicing the power of Parliament to make laws affecting the Irish Free State in any case where, in accordance with constitutional practice, Parliament would make laws affecting other self-governing Dominions.

Section 5 (Short title and effect)[edit]

This Act may be cited as the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922 (Session 2), and shall be deemed to be the Act of Parliament for the ratification of the said Articles of Agreement as from the passing whereof the month mentioned in Article eleven of the said Articles is to run.

This work is in the public domain worldwide because the work was created by a public body of the United Kingdom with Crown Status and commercially published before 1964.

See Crown copyright artistic works, Crown copyright non-artistic works and List of Public Bodies with Crown Status.


External links[edit]