Authority in Ireland is divided between the Legislature (the Oireachtas), the Executive (the Government) and the Judiciary (the courts). Our Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann, provides for a separation of these powers, so none of the three organs of State can interfere with the functions of the other two.
The Oireachtas is the only body that has the power to make laws. The Oireachtas consists of a bicameral chamber and the President of Ireland. “Bicameral” means it comprises two Houses, a Lower House, Dáil Éireann, and an Upper House, Seanad Éireann. The Constitution states that the Government must answer to Dáil Éireann.
Making new laws is one of the main tasks of the Oireachtas. A draft of a proposed new law is called a Bill. Once a Bill is signed into law by the President, it becomes an Act and is added to the Statute Book. The Oireachtas passes approximately 40 Acts each year.