Promoting Justice


Some of our Current Special Projects and Campaigns:

Criminal Justice

The ICCL believes that a fair and just criminal justice system should protect the human rights of defendants and victims alike.  The ICCL monitors government policy on an ongoing basis to ensure that fair trial rights are upheld. Our most recent work in this area was the publication of Taking Liberties (June 2008); a report critiquing the notion of ‘Balance’ within the criminal justice system. The ICCL also seeks to secure effective recognition of and protection for the human rights of crime victims and has highlighted these rights in its Charter of Rights for Victims of Crime.


Garda Reform

The ICCL has long campaigned for an independent police complaints mechanism and to ensure that individuals are not subject to arbitrary and unjust use of police powers. Following the disbandment of the Garda Complaints Board and the establishment of the independent Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), the ICCL continues to call for adequate support and funding to ensure the GSOC can fulfil its remit to operate independently.  The ICCL has also been involved in delivering human rights training to members of the Gardaí and it currently offers strategic human rights advice to the Garda Commissioner through membership of an expert panel.  



The judiciary plays a central role in the legal system in upholding human rights standards. Through its policy, research (Justice Matters Part 1 & Part 2) and campaign work the ICCL is seeking improvements in judicial studies to ensure that judges are more aware of their human rights obligations and of diversity issues, together with a system of judicial accountability for members of the public.



Rights watchdog deplores “profound systems failures” identified in Guerin report

  • News Item
  • May 9, 2014
Irish Council for Civil Liberties Press release For immediate release Friday, 9 May 2014 Ireland’s human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has issued its initial reaction to the 336-page report of the Guerin review of ac...

ICCL Reaction to Shatter Resignation

  • News Item
  • May 7, 2014
ICCL Statement, Wednesday 7 May 2014, 17.45 In a statement, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties has expressed its regret at the resignation this afternoon of Alan Shatter TD as Minister for Justice and Equality. ICCL Director Mr Mark Kelly said: ...

ICCL Submission on Review of Procedures for Appointment as a Judge

  • Article
  • March 10, 2014

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) made a submission in February 2014 to the consultation of the Department of Justice and Equality on the review of procedures for the appointment of members of the judiciary.

In thesubmission, the ICCL makes a series of recommendations on how the current judicial appointments process should be re-organised, through legislation and administrative change, to bring the Irish judicial appointments system in line with international legal and human rights standards.

The submission can be downloaded HERE.

The submission was also reported in the Irish Times on 10 March 2014 - the article can be read HERE.



ICCL comment on recent statement by Mr Oliver J. Connolly, former Garda Confidential Recipient

  • News Item
  • March 4, 2014
Press Statement from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties4 March 2014, 15:30The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has this afternoon (4 March 2014) issued the following statement:“The ICCL is somewhat bemused by the suggestion from the former Conf...

Enough is enough, rights watchdog tells Government; independent inquiry needed now

  • News Item
  • February 25, 2014
Press statement Tuesday 25 February 2014 Ireland's independent human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has sharply criticised the Government's proposal to appoint a barrister to consider whether or not an independent inqui...

GSOC-gate Judge Must Have Proper Legal Powers says ICCL

  • News Item
  • February 19, 2014
Press statementWednesday 19 February 2014Ireland's independent human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), has issued further clarification regarding the form of judicial inquiry that it considers should be carried out into t...

ICCL ‘Welcomes’ GSOC Judicial Inquiry Move

  • News Item
  • February 18, 2014
Press statement14:30 Tuesday 18 February 2014Ireland’s independent human rights watchdog the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has ‘welcomed’ reports that a judge is to be appointed to lead an independent investigation under the Commissi...

Independent inquiry into GSOC spying allegations needed now says rights watchdog

  • News Item
  • February 16, 2014
Press release, for immediate release Sunday 16 February 2014 Ireland's independent human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has said that an independent inquiry into the GSOC bugging revelations is needed to "staunch the er...

Shatter faces calls to “champion” victims’ rights

  • Article
  • April 12, 2012

Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter TD faced calls to be a “true champion” for victims’ rights at a high-level conference hosted by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in Dublin Castle today (Thursday, 12 April 2012).

The Minister gave the opening address at the event, ‘The EU Directive on Victims’ Rights: Opportunities and Challenges for Ireland’ which brought victims’ groups from across Ireland together with Europe’s top victims’ rights experts.

The ICCL conference was held in parallel to discussions in Brussels this week on a proposed new EU Directive to establish minimum legal standards on the rights, support and protection of the human rights of victims of crime.

Introducing the Minister, ICCL Director Mr Mark Kelly said:

“Alan Shatter has a strong track record of supporting the human rights of the victims of crime during his time in opposition, including by bringing forward two private members bills on victims’ rights.  The Irish Council for Civil Liberties also welcomes his recent Ministerial announcement that Ireland will “opt in” to the new EU Directive on Victims’ Rights.”

“Some of the Minister’s predecessors have claimed that victims’ rights can only be advanced by watering down fair trial protections, a claim which victims’ organisations know to be untrue.  By contrast, if Ireland plays a full part in discussions on the new EU Directive on Victims’ Rights and commits to fully translate the Directive into Irish law and practice, Minister Shatter will have proved that he is a true champion of the human rights of crime victims” Mr Kelly concluded.


Coming soon: Major European Conference on Victims' Rights

  • Article
  • March 23, 2012

EU Directive on Victims’ Rights: Opportunities and Challenges for Ireland

9.30am - 2.30pm, Thursday 12 April 2012
Dublin Castle Conference Centre

How will the upcoming draft EU Directive on the rights of victims of crime change the position of the victim within Irish law, policy and practice?

On 12 April 2012, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) will host a major European conference on victims’ rights. This event will be of interest to victims of crime, victim support organisations, legislators, academics, media and politicians.

The ICCL is delighted to announce that
Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD will open the conference.

Leading experts from Europe and Ireland will address this one day conference dedicated to the advancement of victims’ rights from a human rights perspective.

Demand for places is expected to be high and you are invited to pre-register for the event.
To secure a place, please e-mail  Sinéad Skelly at sinead.skelly@iccl.ie
or telephone 01 799 4504.

If you have any special requirements (e.g. sign language interpreter), please mention this in your RSVP and we would be happy to accommodate you.

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