Originally Posted by bfa1509
That is very much like the response that I got. I'm no legal expert but I'm pretty sure that statutes are laws in their weakest form. They get passed easily by the government but have never been exercised or challenged in a court.
I can picture a few landmark cases coming down the line. I hope sense will prevail.
Statutes are laws, full stop. There are only two ways you can overturn a statute; have a court find that it is repugnant to the Constitution, or have it amended or repealed by the Oireachtas through political action.
Having said that, I'm not sure that the provisions quoted by Victor will do the heavy lifting needed to justify the creation of women-only positions in universities. S. 24 appears to be focussed on "removing existing inequalities . . . in the areas of access to employment"; I don't think it offers much justification for positive discrimination. Which presumably explains why s.33 is included; it is clearly intended to permit positive discrimination, but on the basis of age, disablity or membership of the traveller community, but not sex. The Minister could possibly rely on s. 33(3) to justify the provision of training or work experience to women only but not, I think, university chairs.