Such a council exists in Ireland, to advise the President on the
constitutionality of legislation at his/her request, comprising of the
former Presidents and other members as follows:
The Prime Minister (Taoiseach), the Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste),
the Chief Justice, the President of the High Court, the Chairmen of
both houses of Parliament, the Attorney General.
The former Presidents, the former Prime Ministers, the former Chief Justices,
the former Presidents of the Executive Council of Saorstát Éireann.
And up to 7 other persons appointed by the President.
(NOTE: The office of President of the Executice Council of Saorstát
Éireann no longer exists, and there are no surviving former holders of
This link gives the names of the members of the current Council of State,
including the two surviving ex-presidents, Patrick Hillery and Mary Robinson:
President McAleese called a meeting of the Council of State in the
past week to discuss a proposed new law. This was the fourth time that
she has summoned the Council of State (in over 7 years in office so
Article 31 of Bunreacht na hÉireann / Constitution of Ireland follows:
"1. There shall be a Council of State to aid and counsel the President
on all matters on which the President may consult the said Council in
relation to the exercise and performance by him of such of his powers
and functions as are by this Constitution expressed to be exercisable
and performable after consultation with the Council of State, and to
exercise such other functions as are conferred on the said Council by
2. The Council of State shall consist of the following members:
i. As ex-officio members: the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, the Chief
Justice, the President of the High Court, the Chairman of Dáil
Éireann, the Chairman of Seanad Éireann, and the Attorney General.
ii. Every person able and willing to act as a member of the Council of
State who shall have held the office of President, or the office of
Taoiseach, or the office of Chief Justice, or the office of President
of the Executive Council of Saorstát Éireann.
iii. Such other persons, if any, as may be appointed by the President
under this Article to be members of the Council of State.
3. The President may at any time and from time to time by warrant
under his hand and Seal appoint such other persons as, in his absolute
discretion, he may think fit, to be members of the Council of State,
but not more than seven persons so appointed shall be members of the
Council of State at the same time.
4. Every member of the Council of State shall at the first meeting
thereof which he attends as a member take and subscribe a declaration
in the following form:
"In the presence of Almighty God I, , do solemnly and
sincerely promise and declare that I will faithfully and
conscientiously fulfil my duties as a member of the Council of State."
5. Every member of the Council of State appointed by the President,
unless he dies, resigns, becomes permanently incapacitated, or is
removed from office, shall hold office until the successor of the
President by whom he was appointed shall have entered upon his office.
6. Any member of the Council of State appointed by the President may
resign from office by placing his resignation in the hands of the
7. The President may, for reasons which to him seem sufficient, by an
order under his hand and Seal, terminate the appointment of any member
of the Council of State appointed by him.
8. Meetings of the Council of State may be convened by the President
at such times and places as he shall determine."