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 Council Criticises Shatter’s “Lax” Home Defence Bill

  • News Item
  • January 12, 2012
Press Release – For immediate release Thursday 12 January 2012 Ireland’s independent human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has criticised the “lax” provisions on home defence that have been signed into law by Min...

NO Campaign welcomes “clear rejection” of “Abbeylara” amendment

  • Article
  • October 29, 2011

Kangaroos and the billboard

Irish Council for Civil Liberties 'NO to the 30th Amendment campaign'
Press release For immediate release
Saturday, 29 October 2011

The campaign for a NO vote in the 30th amendment to the Constitution (Oireachtas Inquiries) has welcomed the people’s clear rejection of the Government’s referendum proposals.

When the final result of 53.3% NO to 46.7% YES is compared to polls conducted at the outset of the NO campaign led by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), this represents a swing from YES to NO votes of some 31.8 % (see note to editor for details of this calculation).

ICCL and NO Campaign Director Mr Mark Kelly said:

“This result confirms that a clear majority of the people were not convinced that the Government’s proposals struck the right balance between the public interest and the rights of persons called before Oireachtas Committees.” 

 "We look forward to participating fully in consultations on the shape of a future Constitutional amendment that will strengthen the powers of Oireachtas Committees, while protecting the human rights of those who appear before them” Mr Kelly concluded.

Government’s Kangaroo Court Proposals “Delete Rule of Law” says NO campagn

  • News Item
  • October 26, 2011
  Press release – for immediate release Wednesday, 26 October 2011 www.kangaroocourts.net   The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) Association campaign for a NO vote against the 30th amendment to the Constitution (on Oireachtas Inquiries)...

Ministers Should Refrain from Attacks on Good Name of Opponents says NO Campaign

  • News Item
  • October 25, 2011
  Press release – for immediate release  Tuesday 25 October 2011 www.kangaroocourts.net   The campaign for a NO vote against the 30th amendment to the Constitution (on Oireachtas Inquiries) has welcomed new polling figures which show a further...

Heavyweight Support Swings behind NO Campaign

  • News Item
  • October 24, 2011
 Press release – for immediate release Monday 24 October 2011 www.kangaroocourts.net The Campaign for a NO Vote on the 30th Amendment to the Constitution received a major boost today (24 October 2011) when 8 former Attorneys General declared thei...

Polls Confirm 14% Fall in Support for Oireachtas Referendum

  • News Item
  • October 23, 2011
Sunday 23 October 2011 Breaking News ---- REACTION TO SUNDAY TIMES AND SUNDAY INDEPENDENT REFERENDUM POLLS  Polls Confirm 14% Fall in Support for Oireachtas Referendum Polls in two leading Sunday newspapers confirm that support for the Government's...

Referendum NO Campaign Urges Voters to Reject “Kangaroo Courts”

  • News Item
  • October 21, 2011
  Press release – for immediate release Friday 21 October 2011 Voters in next Thursday’s referendum on Oireachtas inquiries (the 30th amendment to the Constitution) have been urged to reject proposals which NO campaigners claim could turn Oirea...

ICCL Association Launches NO Campaign on Oireachtas Inquiry Referendum - www.kangaroocourts.net

  • Article
  • October 20, 2011

Kangaroos and the billboard

Our Kangaroo campaigners launch the 'No to the 30th Amendment' referendum mobile Billboards outside Leinster House on 24 October 2011. Billboards will be covering more than 1200 miles in the coming days in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork.

Mary O'Rourke with Volunteers

Mary O'Rourke with campaign supporters at the launch on 21 October 2011 of the ICCL's 'No to the 30th Amendment' campaign.

Next Thursday, 27 October 2011, the people will be asked to vote on the 30th Amendment to the Constitution, which will grant more power to Oireachtas Committees.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties Association believes that these proposals are rushed and ill-considered, and do not strike the right balance between the public interest and individual rights.

Tomorrow, 21 October 2011, together with a number of high profile academics and political figures the ICCL Association will launch the 'NO' campaign against the 30th amendment to the Constitution.

Date: Friday, 21st October 2011
Time: 12.30pm -2.30pm

Grafton Suite 1, The Westbury Hotel, Grafton Street, Dublin 2


Speakers will include:
•    Mark Kelly, Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties
•    Catherine Murphy TD
•    Senator Ronán Mullen
•    Mary O’Rourke, former TD, Senator and Oireachtas Committee Chair
•    Professor Gerry Whyte, Trinity College Dublin, Constitutional Law expert
•    Oisín Quinn SC
•    Donncha O’Connell, National University of Ireland Galway

More details on: http://www.facebook.com/IrishCouncilforCivilLiberties

Day 2 of Ireland's UNCAT Hearing in Geneva Concludes.View it here.

  • Article
  • May 24, 2011

The second day of the Ireland's examination under the UN Convention against torture has concluded. The proceedings can be viewed below. Twitter coverage of the session can be read at: @ICCLtweet, @IPRT and #UNCAT. Part two of the recording, which comprises the final few minutes of the session, is available at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14931285.

Joint ICCL/IPRT UNCAT Shadow Report Launched

  • Article
  • May 20, 2011

Press photo MK,TW,JS,LH

The ICCL/ IPRT Joint Shadow Report to the First Periodic Review of Ireland under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was launched today at Buswells Hotel, Dublin 2. Speakers at the launch were: Mark Kelly, Director, ICCL; Liam Herrick, Executive Director, IPRT; and John Stanley, Chairperson, Irish Refugee Council.

The report benchmarks Ireland’s performance under the United Nations Convention against Torture, and makes 50 clear recommendations to Government on action required to enable the State to meet its obligations under this treaty. On 23 and 24 May, 2011 a high-level Irish Government delegation will be publically examined for the first time by the UN Committee against Torture on the extent to which it is meeting its human rights obligations under the Convention. The hearing will be webcast live online from 9am GMT at:http://www.ustream.tv/channel/iprt . It will also be the subject of regular twitter updates on @ICCLtweet and @IPRT.

On 3 June the UN Committee against Torture will adopt its concluding observations on Ireland’s compliance with the UN Convention against Torture – these observations will form a list of essential improvements which the Irish State will have to undertake to tackle in the coming years. Watch this space for further updates from Geneva.

The report can be downloaded HERE.

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