Archive for 2010

Issues of Concern for the attention of Secretary Clinton

  • Publication
  • December 20, 2010

(1)    Failure to respect the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement

The Belfast / Good Friday Agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland prompted the introduction of a number of potentially significant accountability mechanisms in the Republic of Ireland.  As Secretary Clinton knows, the Agreement requires parity of protection of rights in both legal jurisdictions on the island of Ireland. The Irish Government has created a Human Rights Commission to mirror the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and a Garda Síochána (Police) Ombudsman Commission to mirror the Office of the Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland. However, the Irish Government has failed to render either of these accountability mechanisms fully effective in practice.

In mid 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Committee recommended that the Irish Government enhance the independence and capacity of the Irish Human Rights Commission to fulfil its mandate.  The Government responded by cutting the Commission’s 2009 budget by 24%, followed by a further 5% in December 2010.  The UN Human Rights Committee also indicated in 2008 that it regrets the reassignment by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission to the Garda Commissioner of the investigation of a number of complaints involving the potentially criminal conduct of Gardaí (police officers). This practice of “leaseback” of investigations of police misconduct to the police themselves persists.

(2)    Absence of effective safeguards against extraordinary rendition

On 4 January 2010 and 28 September 2010, the Special Rapporteur for Follow-up on Concluding Observations for the UN Human Rights Committee, Abdelfattah Amor, wrote to the Irish authorities to recall that they had failed to provide the Committee with information first requested in 2008 regarding the safeguards in place when Ireland relies upon official (diplomatic) assurances about the use of Irish airports and airspace to facilitate extraordinary rendition. As far as the ICCL is aware, the Irish authorities have yet to furnish this information because no effective safeguards are in place.

Action requested

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties respectfully requests that these human rights accountability deficits be raised by State Department officials with the Irish authorities at an appropriate level. Where the failure to provide for a fully independent Irish Human Rights Commission with appropriate resources is concerned, this is an issue that merits being raised at the highest political level.

In the event that these deficiencies have not been addressed by November 2011, when Ireland faces its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations, the ICCL requests that these matters form the subject of specific questions to the Irish Government’s UPR delegation by the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Mark Kelly, Director, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, 14 December 2010

High-Level Human Rights Meetings in Washington DC

  • Article
  • December 20, 2010

December 2010, ICCL representatives held high-level human rights meetings in Washington DC

On 16 December, ICCL Director Mark Kelly met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as part of a delegation of the International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations (INCLO). On the following day, he and Karen Ciesielski of the ICCL’s Organisational Development Team met privately with MS Samantha Power, Special Advisor to President Obama for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights.

Mr Kelly gave Ms Clinton and her senior officials a written note highlighting key human rights concerns that the ICCL would like see raised by the US Department of State bilaterally with the Department of Foreign Affairs, and at the United Nations in Geneva.  A note raising the same issues was given to Ms Power on the following day.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties, working with its partners in the Universal Periodic Review Cross-Sectoral Steering Group (CS-SG)  will be encouraging representatives of a number of other well-disposed nations to ask questions about Ireland’s human rights record during its Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations in November 2011. 

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L-R Karen Ciesielski of the ICCL’s Organisational Development Team, Mark Kelly ICCL Director, Samantha Power, Special Advisor to President Obama for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights.

Rights News 16 Winter 2010/2011

  • Publication
  • December 20, 2010

Rights News 16 Winter 2010/2011

Abortion Rules in Ireland Disrespect the Constitution says Europe’s Top Court

  • News Item
  • December 16, 2010
Press release, for immediate releaseWashington DC / Dublin, Thursday 16 December 2010Europe’s top court, the European Court of Human Rights, has today (16 December 2010) found that Ireland’s abortion regime fails to give women the Constitutional ...

Europe’s Top Court To Rule on Irish Abortion Ban

  • News Item
  • December 9, 2010
Press release, for immediate releaseThursday 9 December 2010Ireland’s leading rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has welcomed today’s news that the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights will issue a judgme...

2011 ICCL Human Rights Film Awards Launched!

  • Article
  • December 9, 2010

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has today (9 December 2010) marked International Human Rights Week by raising the curtain on its 2011 Human Rights Film Awards. View above video and visit the competition website for more details - www.humanrightsfilmawards.org

Curtain Rises on 2011 Human Rights Film Awards

  • News Item
  • December 9, 2010
Press Release – For immediate releaseThursday 9 December 2010The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has today (9 December 2010) marked International Human Rights Week by raising the curtain on its 2011 Human Rights Film Awards. Director of hi...

Know Your Rights: European Convention on Human Rights in Ireland (Print Friendly B&W version)

  • Publication
  • December 2, 2010

This is the third in a series of packs designed to inform people about their rights. The pack provides the public with information about the rights and freedoms protected by the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), Ireland’s 2003 European Convention on Human Rights Act, and how to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The pack has been written in everyday language and we hope that you will find it informative and easy to use. This version of the pack has been produced in reversed black and white to save on printing costs.

Know Your Rights: The European Convention on Human Rights in Ireland (Colour Version)

  • Publication
  • December 2, 2010

This is the third in a series of packs designed to inform people about their rights. The pack provides the public with information about the rights and freedoms protected by the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), Ireland’s 2003 European Convention on Human Rights Act, and how to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights. The pack has been written in everyday language and we hope that you will find it informative and easy to use.

Republic’s Rights Protection Lags Behind North Says Peer

  • News Item
  • November 25, 2010
Press Release - Not for use before 5.30pm on 24 November 2010One of the world’s top human rights lawyers has said that the Irish State’s protection of rights lags behind Northern Ireland.Speaking in Dublin today (24 November 2010) at the launch o...
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