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The Supreme Court

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'A wonderful book ... a superb book and it's not just for people interested in law; it tells you a lot about Ireland' Vincent Browne, TV3 The judges, the decisions, the rifts and the rivalries - the gripping inside story of the institution that has shaped Ireland. 'Combines painstaking research with acute analysis and intelligence' Colm Tóibín, Irish Times' Books of the 'A wonderful book ... a superb book and it's not just for people interested in law; it tells you a lot about Ireland' Vincent Browne, TV3 The judges, the decisions, the rifts and the rivalries - the gripping inside story of the institution that has shaped Ireland. 'Combines painstaking research with acute analysis and intelligence' Colm Tóibín, Irish Times' Books of the Year '[Mac Cormaic] has done something unprecedented and done it with a striking maturity, balance and adroitness. He creates the intimacy necessary but never loses sight of the wider contexts; this is not just a book about legal history; it is also about social, political and cultural history ... [the Supreme Court] has found a brilliant chronicler in Ruadhan Mac Cormaic' Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History, UCD 'Mac Cormaic quite brilliantly tells the story ... balanced, perceptive and fair ... a major contribution to public understanding' Donncha O'Connell, Professor of Law, NUIG, Dublin Review of Books 'Compelling ... a remarkable story, told with great style' Irish Times 'Authoritative, well-written and highly entertaining' Sunday Times The work of the Supreme Court is at the heart of the private and public life of the nation. Whether it's a father trying to overturn his child's adoption, a woman asserting her right to control her fertility, republicans fighting extradition, political activists demanding an equal hearing in the media, women looking to serve on juries, the state attempting to prevent a teenager ending her pregnancy, a couple challenging the tax laws, a gay man fighting his criminalization simply for being gay, a disabled young man and his mother seeking to vindicate his right to an education, the court's decisions can change lives. Now, having had unprecedented access to a vast number of sources, and conducted hundreds of interviews, including with key insiders, award-winning Irish Times journalist Ruadhan Mac Cormaic lifts the veil on the court's hidden world. The Supreme Court reveals new and surprising information about well-known cases. It exposes the sometimes fractious relationship between the court and the government. But above all it tells a story about people - those who brought the cases, those who argued in court, those who dealt with the fallout and, above all, those who took the decisions. Judges' backgrounds and relationships, their politics and temperaments, as well as the internal tensions between them, are vital to understanding how the court works and are explored here in fascinating detail. The Supreme Court is both a riveting read and an important and revealing account of one of the most powerful institutions of our state. Ruadhan Mac Cormaic is the former Legal Affairs Correspondent and Paris Correspondent of the Irish Times. He is now the paper's Foreign Affairs Correspondent.


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'A wonderful book ... a superb book and it's not just for people interested in law; it tells you a lot about Ireland' Vincent Browne, TV3 The judges, the decisions, the rifts and the rivalries - the gripping inside story of the institution that has shaped Ireland. 'Combines painstaking research with acute analysis and intelligence' Colm Tóibín, Irish Times' Books of the 'A wonderful book ... a superb book and it's not just for people interested in law; it tells you a lot about Ireland' Vincent Browne, TV3 The judges, the decisions, the rifts and the rivalries - the gripping inside story of the institution that has shaped Ireland. 'Combines painstaking research with acute analysis and intelligence' Colm Tóibín, Irish Times' Books of the Year '[Mac Cormaic] has done something unprecedented and done it with a striking maturity, balance and adroitness. He creates the intimacy necessary but never loses sight of the wider contexts; this is not just a book about legal history; it is also about social, political and cultural history ... [the Supreme Court] has found a brilliant chronicler in Ruadhan Mac Cormaic' Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History, UCD 'Mac Cormaic quite brilliantly tells the story ... balanced, perceptive and fair ... a major contribution to public understanding' Donncha O'Connell, Professor of Law, NUIG, Dublin Review of Books 'Compelling ... a remarkable story, told with great style' Irish Times 'Authoritative, well-written and highly entertaining' Sunday Times The work of the Supreme Court is at the heart of the private and public life of the nation. Whether it's a father trying to overturn his child's adoption, a woman asserting her right to control her fertility, republicans fighting extradition, political activists demanding an equal hearing in the media, women looking to serve on juries, the state attempting to prevent a teenager ending her pregnancy, a couple challenging the tax laws, a gay man fighting his criminalization simply for being gay, a disabled young man and his mother seeking to vindicate his right to an education, the court's decisions can change lives. Now, having had unprecedented access to a vast number of sources, and conducted hundreds of interviews, including with key insiders, award-winning Irish Times journalist Ruadhan Mac Cormaic lifts the veil on the court's hidden world. The Supreme Court reveals new and surprising information about well-known cases. It exposes the sometimes fractious relationship between the court and the government. But above all it tells a story about people - those who brought the cases, those who argued in court, those who dealt with the fallout and, above all, those who took the decisions. Judges' backgrounds and relationships, their politics and temperaments, as well as the internal tensions between them, are vital to understanding how the court works and are explored here in fascinating detail. The Supreme Court is both a riveting read and an important and revealing account of one of the most powerful institutions of our state. Ruadhan Mac Cormaic is the former Legal Affairs Correspondent and Paris Correspondent of the Irish Times. He is now the paper's Foreign Affairs Correspondent.

30 review for The Supreme Court

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Finish date: 17 Deember 2017 Genre: non-fiction Rating: B+ Review Finish date: 17 Deember 2017 Genre: non-fiction Rating: B+ Review

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kaylee

    This book gave a clearly extensively researched account of the history of the Irish Supreme Court from its early days under Hugh Kennedy to the death of Adrian Hardiman in March 2016. As an American high schooler with only general preliminary knowledge about Ireland, I sometimes had a hard time distinguishing between different administrations and political parties and understanding how the Irish government is set up. (The relationship between the Taoiseach and the President still mystifies me.) This book gave a clearly extensively researched account of the history of the Irish Supreme Court from its early days under Hugh Kennedy to the death of Adrian Hardiman in March 2016. As an American high schooler with only general preliminary knowledge about Ireland, I sometimes had a hard time distinguishing between different administrations and political parties and understanding how the Irish government is set up. (The relationship between the Taoiseach and the President still mystifies me.) Despite that, though, the book was surprisingly readable, and I feel like I've learned a lot from it. I especially enjoyed the parts about the Court during Cearbhall O'Dalaigh's time as Chief Justice. I'd definitely recommend The Supreme Court to anyone interested in legal history, especially as it relates to Irish history. It provides a kind of broad overview of the past hundred or so years of Irish politics from the perspective of the judicial branch, which makes it a great choice for anyone who wants to learn about landmark cases in context.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Noel Sharkey

    Really educational, not too heavy on law. Great demonstration of how Supreme Court has changed fabric of Irish society, with goods examples of everyday relevance of decisions made. Not a legal person myself, but really enjoyed this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    An excellent history of the Irish Supreme Court. Not just a book for those interested in the law but also easily digestible for anyone interested in 20th century Ireland.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Crowley

    A superb account of the Supreme Court, the personalities that shaped it and the political and social impact key judgments have had. Having studied constitutional law over 14 years ago it brought back some long forgotten memories but also put cases in a very relevant historical and political context. A great read as well as an important book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Niamh

  7. 4 out of 5

    Feidhlim Robinson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  9. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Byrne

  10. 4 out of 5

    Damien Cahill

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ian

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dearbhla

  14. 5 out of 5

    Louise Forde

  15. 4 out of 5

    Roisin Collins

  16. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aisling

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jacc O'Brien

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Siobhán

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fionnuala

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jack Lawlor

  23. 5 out of 5

    James

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Finn Keyes

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jordie Sattar

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul O'Dwyer

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aaron McSuibhne

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mr John O Brien

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ronan

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