Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



On November 24, 1995, the Irish population voted to ease Ireland's constitutional ban on divorce by means of a constitutional amendment. The new amendment and the bill that effectuates it give Irish citizens a limited legal right to end their marriages for the first time in Ireland's history. The limits surrounding Irish divorce consist of a significant waiting period, a living-apart requirement, and a slant toward mediation.

This Note explores the predicaments of abused spouses and the unique risks that Ireland's divorce limitations pose to spousal abuse victims seeking to end their marriages. This Note argues that the limitations of Ireland's newly created right of divorce potentially violates battered Irish spouses' rights to equal protection and bodily integrity under Irish constitutional jurisprudence, the European Convention on Human Rights, and developing international norms articulated in the Women's Convention.