Rights Council Criticises Shatter’s “Lax” Home Defence Bill

  • 12-01-2012
  • Categorized in: Justice

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 Minister Alan Shatter today (12 January 2012).

According to the ICCL, the content of the new Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011 is at odds with guidance given by the Court of Criminal Appeal and fails to fully respect Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

ICCL Director Mr Mark Kelly said:

“These are lax proposals that contain insufficiently robust legal safeguards to protect the right to life of householders or intruders.”

“A law that encourages people to use lethal force to defend their property shows scant regard for the right to life of householders or intruders. Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights obliges the State to ensure that lethal force can only be used if absolutely necessary and strictly proportionate in all the circumstances. Legislation that suggests the right to property can trump the right to life exposes well-intentioned householders to unwarranted physical danger and the risk of criminal prosecution for murder”.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Walter Jayawardene

Communications Manager

Irish Council for Civil Liberties

9-13 Blackhall Place

Dublin 7

Ireland

 

Tel. + 353 1 799 4504

Mob: +353 87 9981574

 

E-mail: walter.jayawardene@iccl.ie

 

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

- The Minister’s press release on commencement of the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011 can be found HERE.

- The text of the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011 can be found HERE.

- The ICCL’s 2010 submission on the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Bill can be found HERE.

 

 

 


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