The Irish legal system emerged from the British system. Yet the Irish constitution diverges from the Commonwealth model and more closely resembles the American constitution in both substance and application. This means that while the Irish parliamentary system is very much based on the Westminster model, the legal system, while remaining within the Common Law family, has important distinctions. One of the key areas of divergence from the Commonwealth model is in judicial review. This has important ramifications for the recognition and elaboration of human rights under the constitution. This article explores some of the historical reasons for the shift from the Commonwealth model and the nature and consequence of some of those differences. It also contrasts certain aspects of the Irish judicial review process with those pertaining in the United States; in particular it highlights some anti-democratic tendencies in the Irish system.