Human Rights Law in the Republic of Ireland-2008
Liam Thornton, “Human Rights Law in the Republic of Ireland-2008” (2011) 3 Irish Yearbook of International Law 159-179.
27 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2015
Date Written: September 2, 2011
There continued to be significant engagement with human rights issues by the Irish legislature, government and judiciary in 2008. The strengthening of the human rights of trafficking victims, lesbian, gay and bisexual men and women are worthy points of note. This must be contrasted with the continuing controversies in immigration law, the failure of the Irish Government to legislate so as to protect the rights of transgendered persons and the severe financial cutbacks imposed on the Equality Authority and the Irish Human Rights Commission. The number of cases argued before the Irish Courts on issues relating to human rights continues to rise. The judiciary have engaged in human rights disputes in a large number of areas, ranging from criminal law, family law, child law, immigration law, property law and mental health law. The incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms into Irish law has had no small part to play in the increase in human rights adjudication before the courts. As can be seen from the range of cases examined below, judicial engagement with other international human rights law instruments and treaties remains low. Nevertheless, in the area of child law at any rate, the judiciary seems more prepared to at least make reference to international legal instruments in coming to decisions, even if domestic or European human rights law can solve the issue at hand. It remains to be seen whether in future years, judicial reference to unincorporated international human rights treaties will expand.
Keywords: Irish Studies, International Law, Immigration, Asylum Law, International Human Rights Law, Asylum seekers, Irish Constitutional Law, Irish Law
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