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    Unconstitutional Evictions

    CRUMMEY, CONOR (2023) Unconstitutional Evictions. Irish Judicial Studies Journal, 7 (3). pp. 1-24. ISSN 2712-0317

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    Earlier this year, the Irish Government pressed ahead with plans to allow a temporary legislative ban on ‘no-fault’ evictions to expire. In this article, I argue that Article 40.5 of the Constitution, which protects the inviolability of the dwelling, would be implicated in any case in which the courts must decide whether the law requires them to enforce evictions against tenants. This is the position even in cases involving private landlords, and where the tenants continue to occupy the landlord’s property in defiance of a valid notice of termination. To make this argument, I analyse the case law surrounding Art 40.5 and offer an account of the normative underpinnings of that provision. In early cases, it was thought that Art 40.5 was concerned with forcible entry into one’s home by the State. While this is certainly a relevant aspect of Art 40.5, I argue that subsequent cases make clear that this provision is underpinned by a richer conception of the moral value of the home. Drawing on recent work in moral philosophy, I argue that the ‘dwelling’ referred to in the Constitution has an important social aspect. We have standing to demand that our home, or dwelling, is not interfered with because control over a private space of one’s own is essential for forming intimate human relationships and pursuing valuable ends. When we see that this is the conception of the dwelling with which Art 40.5 is concerned, it becomes clear that tenants have standing to demand a heightened level of justification from the State before their eviction is enforced.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Unconstitutional; Evictions;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Item ID: 17927
    Depositing User: Conor Crummey
    Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2023 11:44
    Journal or Publication Title: Irish Judicial Studies Journal
    Publisher: Office of the Chief Justice of Ireland
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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