Given that Croatia finished Accession negotiations on
30th June, 2011, and will likely sign and ratify the Accession
Treaty by the end of 2011, although Accession and entry into force will not be
likely until June 2013, the question of the legal value of the “guarantees”
offered to Ireland in advance of the second referendum to ratify the Lisbon
Treaty re-emerges. This paper seeks to conduct a detailed examination of the
legal value of the Lisbon guarantees (1) as a matter of international law; (2)
as a matter of European law; (3) as a matter of national constitutional law.
The conclusion will be that the guarantees may have a legal value that has
hitherto been unsuspected.