The focus of the paper is on two specific questions. First does entering into international treaties enhance effective freedom of action for a government and if so promote the sovereign or greatest good? Second with whom does the decision to enter such agreements reside, the government of the day or the electorate via a referendum? Prof John O'Hagan argues in relation to the first question that international treaties can, and very often do, substantially enhance the sovereign good of each participating state. He also argues, following Pringle (Supreme Court, 2012) in particular, that the signing of such treaties is wholly within the rights of the elected government of the day, subject to the proviso that any further extension of the objectives of the treaty in question must come back for approval by the Irish government.
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