The European Union (EU) is established by a treaty setting out its constituting provisions.1 Union law within its area of competence is supreme and renders ineffective any Member State legislative, administrative, or judicial act which is contrary to it.2 Thus, national legislatures cannot override European law in the way other treaty obligations may be overridden.

Irish membership of the Union is enshrined in article 29.4 of the Constitution. Specific authority to ratify the Lisbon treaty is constitutionally mandated, along with a commitment to the Union and the promotion of peace, shared values and the well-being of the peoples of the Union.3

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