2019 / 2020 applications here
This course is not running in 2018–2019.
The democratic process in Ireland has never been more complex, legally, or more regulated. At a time of unparalleled change and reform, this course is uniquely designed to enable participants to navigate the complexities of State administration, the workings of parliament, law making and our electoral system.
This advanced diploma course is uniquely relevant to those directly or indirectly involved in the democratic process, including lawyers, civil servants, political party members, public representatives and their staff, journalists, diplomats, policy makers, political scientists, scholars, county councillors and others interested in the democratic and political system in Ireland.
Contributors to the course include former Attorneys General, members of the legal profession with expertise in constitutional law, top civil servants and former senior news editors.
Topics include: how the institutions of the State act in accordance with the law and with the Constitution; why administrative decisions of State agencies are open to judicial review; the extent to which the courts can intervene in respect of actions taken by the State; how law is made and how it can be delegated; how political campaigns are regulated during and election cycle; how the referendum process is regulated under the Constitution. Those involved in local and national government will be particularly interested to learn how political power works in local authorities and in the Houses of the Oireachtas. The course also covers how election counts are conducted – essential information for anyone involved in the political process, from county councillors to aspiring public representatives.
This advanced diploma course, the first of its kind in Ireland, will significantly deepen participants’ understanding of and expertise in the law that governs the democratic process, including elections and parliamentary procedure, both in Ireland and the European Parliament. Students will also gain an understanding of the international legal framework that underpins Ireland’s electoral system and expert training will also be provided in emerging areas, such as parliamentary inquiries and international election observation.
The course is delivered via a combination of lectures and small group teaching (tutorials). This course will also be available via blended learning, with lectures recorded using e–learning software and made available to students for streaming via our student intranet system. This means that, while all students are welcome and encouraged to attend class in person, lectures will be recorded so that students who are based outside Dublin or who are otherwise unable to attend can catch up on the material by streaming the video in their own time. Lecture videos require an internet connection to be streamed.
Tutorials (small group sessions) require attendance in person due to their interactive nature.
There will be 21 lectures / large group sessions (Thursdays 8.30am–10.00am) and 4 tutorials (Wednesdays 8.30am–10.00am) on the course. The course will be delivered by experts, including international experts, in the field.
Course Start Date: This course is not running in 2018–2019.
Introduction to the democratic process and key constitutional principles
Organs of the State and the Separation of Powers
The Law Governing General Elections (1): Franchise, PR and Dáil constituency reviews
The Law Governing General Elections (2): Dáil elections and campaign regulation
The Law Governing General Elections (3): Rules governing the counting of votes
Tutorial 1: Mock Election Count
Civil and Political Rights and Judicial Review
European Electoral Processes
Local Authorities: Powers, Functions and Representation
Presidential Powers and Elections
Tutorial: Constitutional rights, presidential powers and the functioning of the Seanad
Obligations of the Broadcast Media
Party Funding, Donations and Election Expenses
Referenda in Ireland
International Standards for Elections
Tutorial 3: International Standards and Election Observation
Functioning of Government and Dáil:
Workings of Dáil Éireann
Extent of the legislative power
Tutorial 4: The Executive, the extent of the legislative power and parliamentary inquiries
Guest Speaker on the PAC
In order to be awarded with the diploma, students will have to successfully complete one assignment and one examination.
This course will be of interest to:
Fees can be viewed here.
2019 / 2020 applications here
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