Human rights commission intervened in seven cases last year

Emily Logan
Emily Logan

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) intervened in seven cases in Ireland’s superior courts last year and provided legal advice or legal representation to 72 people in a range of cases.

The Commission laid its annual report for 2017 before the Houses of the Oireachtas today.

In launching the report, chief commissioner Emily Logan welcomed recent positive progress on human rights and equality issues, but warned that significant areas of concern remain, particularly around housing and the increased level and types of discrimination.

The Commission appeared as an amicus curiae in cases such as:

  • The landmark Supreme Court order on the constitutional right of people in direct provision to seek employment (NHV Case) clarifying the right of individuals to seek employment. The significant judgment of the Supreme Court clarified the entitlement of non-citizens to rely on the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Legislation is now being brought forward by Government in response.
  • The rights of persons involuntarily detained in mental health hospitals to challenge their ongoing detention at regular intervals where their circumstances may have changed (AB Case). The relevant part of the legislation has been deemed unconstitutional by the Court of Appeal.
  • The rights of people to private and family lives in decisions on whether to renew or vary their visa status (Balchand and Luximon cases). The Supreme Court has ruled that the Minister has a duty to consider the families’ right to private and family life.
  • Ms Logan (pictured) said: “Progress has been made on human rights and equality issues, including State recognition of Traveller ethnicity; in healthcare, following the referendum to repeal the Eighth amendment; and Ireland’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, rights must not only be recognised, but must also be vindicated through the State’s services and our laws.

    “The Commission is seeing significant numbers of people contacting us directly about experiencing discrimination related to their disability, their housing status, their gender and their race, illustrating a clear need for a sustained focus on actions to eliminate discrimination in Ireland.

    “The Commission will continue to examine what practical actions are being taken to vindicate people’s human rights and equality of treatment, in particular regarding the forthcoming legislation governing a framework for abortion services, and legislation giving effect to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

    Share icon
    Share this article: