On Friday 3rd February, Mr Justice Humphreys, Judge of the High Court, visited UL and gave a lecture to a packed audience comprising the students of Constitutional Law and the University community. The topic of the lecture was ‘The future of Constitutional Amendments’ and Justice Humphreys gave a broad history of constitutional amendments in Ireland under both Constitutions before turning to the contemporary issues. He noted that 50 years of constitutional reviews is enough, particularly when these reviews have resulted in very little actual reform. He spoke about the need for a mechanism to ensure these issues will be brought before the people and while he had doubts about the viability of direct democracy, he noted that creative judicial interpretation, in the hope that it would make Government and civil servants it up and take notice, is not an effective way of forcing change.
The lecture ended on an optimistic note with Justice Humphreys expressing a hope that the new Citizen’s Assembly under the direction of Ms Justice Mary Laffoy can devise some method of ensuring constitutional change.