World Intellectual Property Organization


The Constitution of Ireland



Year of current version:2004
Date of entry into force of original text:December 29, 1937
Date of Text (Adopted):June 24, 2004
Type of Text:Constitution / Basic Law
Subject Matter:Other
- The current Constitution of Ireland is the second constitution of the State (it replaces the Free State Constitution) since independence from the United Kingdom in 1922. The Constitution was passed by a national plebiscite on 1 July 1937, and it came into force on 29 December 1937. The Constitution may only be amended by referendum, which has successfully occurred twenty-seven times, most recently on 24 June 2004.
- The Constitution does not expressly address intellectual property, but see Article 40(3)(2o) on reputation and property among other rights: “The State shall, in particular, by its laws protect as best it may from unjust attack and, in the case of injustice done, vindicate the life, person, good name, and property rights of every citizen.”
- Also see Article 43 (Private Property), which provides for the ongoing protection of private ownership rights while recognizing the need for socially just regulation and other limits for the common good.
- As for relevant social policy, see Article 45(2), especially (ii) on ownership and control of community resources and (iii) on antitrust and competition.
- Regarding trademarks and unfair competition, see Article 45(3)(2o).
Available Texts: 

The Constitution of Ireland The Constitution of Ireland, Complete document (pdf) [216 KB] The Constitution of Ireland, Complete document (htm) [182 KB] (Version with Automatic Translation Tool)

WIPO Lex No.:IE157

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