Ireland is a small common law jurisdiction with a devolved legal system. These two factors combine to present a number of significant problems with regard to legal information sources:
• Devolution has promoted incremental and incidental change. There has been little systemic review and the law is a complex mix of amendment, addition and judicial review.
• Much of our legislation is reactive to social or political requirements.
• Until recently, sources of law have not been prioritized as an important national resource requiring investment in terms of review and access.
• Consolidation is infrequent and ineffective. Codification has only recently been considered.
• Current sources of modern Irish law have been substantially shaped by major historical events of the last three centuries. Today's Irish legal system and sources of contemporary law owe a lot to the pragmatic adoption and adaptation of the Westminster model and the English common law as it stood in the early twentieth century.