Country Profile: Ireland

This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of Ireland (Eire), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Ireland's Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.

Country Background

Ireland is located in Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain. The capital of Ireland is Dublin. The official languages are Irish (Gaelic/Gaeilge) and English. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 5 million. Ireland is a predominantly Christian country, with about 85% of the population Roman Catholic.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Ireland is referred to as a parliamentary republic, in which sovereignty belongs to the people and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Ireland gained its independence from Great Britain with the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty, concluding the Irish War of Independence. Under this treaty, 5/6th of Ireland gained independence but 1/6th of the land (now called Northern Ireland) remained under British control. Today, Northern Ireland remains part of the U.K. and is not considered part of the Republic of Ireland. Ireland's system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. Ireland is a member state of the European Union.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Ireland.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Ireland.

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Ireland has no official school of Islamic law. 

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

 Unofficial Databases


For an extended list of legal resources for this country, see the Library of Congress’s Research Guide, and for a narrative review, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law Research Guide (most updated version, where available). The Constitution is available in the LOC Guide in its original language and at Constitute in English. For full versions of past constitutions, amendments, and related legislation, see HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated or Oxford Constitutions of the World [subscription required for each].