Bills and Legislation

Subject to the obligations of European Union membership as provided in the Constitution of Ireland, the sole and exclusive power of making laws for the State is vested in the Oireachtas (Parliament).

The Oireachtas consists of the President and two Houses, Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (Senate).

The Constitution confers primacy on Dáil Éireann as the directly elected House in the passage of legislation and provides that Seanad Éireann cannot delay indefinitely the enactment of legislation.

Bills to amend the Constitution and Money Bills i.e. financial legislation can only be initiated in Dáil Éireann. Seanad Éireann can make recommendations (but not amendments) to Money Bills and these must be made within 21 days.

In Parliament, the Bills Office has the responsibility of preparing Bills and amendments for publication and for preparing updated texts of a Bill after each Stage to take account of any amendments made during its passage through the Houses and for the vellum copy prepared for the signature of the President.