- February 21, 2014
- Human Rights
This weekend, the work of Ireland’s first-ever Convention on the Constitution will conclude, with a session on the inclusion of Economic, Social & Cultural (ESC) Rights in the Constitution.
The Convention was formally established by a Resolution of the Houses of the Oireachtas in July 2012 and held its first meeting in December of that year. Over the last year, it has held seven plenary sessions, eight regional consultations and sent six reports to Government. The topics that it has dealt with so far are: reduction of the Presidential term of office to five years and the alignment with local and European elections; reduction of the voting age to 17; review of the Dáil electoral system and Dáil reform; Irish citizens’ right to vote at Irish Embassies in Presidential elections; provisions for same-sex marriage; amendment to the clause on the role of women in the home and encouraging greater participation of women in public life; increasing the participation of women in politics; and removal of the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution.
This is an impressive programme of work and, since 2012, the ICCL’s Hear Our Voices Initiative has been pleased to keep you updated about the Convention’s activities and achievements.
In a letter to the Chair of the Convention dated 18 February 2014, the Taoiseach notes that “at a time of much cynicism” the work done by the Convention members, Secretariat and Chair “demonstrates the enduring value of public service”.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties would like to echo that sentiment and to thank all involved with the Convention for their contribution to public life and to human rights based reform of the Constitution. It is our hope that the mandate of the Convention will be renewed in order to enable it to consider other important issues.
In the meantime, you will find this weekend’s agenda at the end of this mailer. It includes a debate in which Michael McDowell SC will oppose representatives of Amnesty International Ireland and the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC). You can watch the proceedings live at www.constitution.ie
Click HERE for more details
A new Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) study launched today (Thursday 30 January 2014) has highlighted protection gaps for people with disabilities who become victims of crime. The report was authored by Prof Shane Kilcommins, Dr Claire Edwards and Ms Tina O’Sullivan of University College Cork and was commissioned by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) with the kind support of the Equality Authority’s Small Grants Fund.
The ‘International Review of Legal Provisions and Supports for People with Disabilities as Victims of Crime’provides an international comparative overview of the legal provisions and supports for crime victims with disabilities, highlighting barriers to accessing justice throughout the pre-trial, trial and post-trial periods of criminal proceedings. The study – the first of its kind – includes a list of practical recommendations on international best practice in this area, including in relation to interpretation, the relaxation of formal procedures, video testimony, and provisions for unsworn testimony.
The report was launched at The Offices of the National University of Ireland, 49 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, at 10am on Thursday 30 January 2014 by Kieran Rose, the Acting Chair of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (Designate).
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