The Oirechtas, officially the Oireachtas Éireann is the legislature of the Republic of Ireland. It consists of two chambers the Daíl and Senate. The Dail meets every day except Sunday's and the Senate meets ever Monday, Wedensday and Friday. It consists of 300 voting members. 60 senators and 240 deputies.
The Dail and Senate are re-elected every 4 years. The Dail is always re-elected before the Senate. Both houses have varying powers. The Dail is regarded as the lower house and has more power then the Senate. While the Senate is the upper house and receives less power. Both houses can begin legislation applying to all fields except finance which must be started in the Dail. The Senate can veto any bill for 90-120 days. This is used to change the bills. Once the bill is no longer vetoed or can not be vetoed any longer it passes into law.
Law Making Process
- A law must begin in the Daíl or the Senate. The Daíl can start any bills and the Senate can create any bills that are not directly related to budgeting.
- A law is then reviewed by a select committee of the political party(s) who proposed the bill. It is then drafted up and presented at a house meeting.
- The bill is debated and then voted if it goes any further. If it does it goes back to the committee stage and is reviewed again.
- The bill is then sent to the Senate.
- The Senate then debate about it and if it is passed by the Senate it goes into their own committee to make their own amendments. If it is rejected it goes to the Joint Committee of Legislation.
- The Join Committee then work out a compromise and the bill is then passed back into the Dail for a final debate and all final changes are made to it. If the Dail votes in favour of it, it goes to the Senate again for a final vote.
- The Senate can make no more changes and can only veto in hope of introducing changes. If it is passed the law is then sent to the Judicial Council of Legislation.
- The Judicial Council then review if it is constitutional. If it is not they refer it to the President who then refers it to the Supreme Court who do an investigation and make changes or veto it from going through. If it is accepted it is sent to the President for his review
- The President can advise changes but these are rarely heard of or taken on board. He can make a final decision to make the bill go through the entire process again or send to the Supreme Court or Sign the Bill. Most of the time the bill is signed and becomes law.