Respect for human rights must not be a "political football" says ICCL
- Categorized in: Justice
Press Release - Monday 8 February 2016
Ireland's independent human rights watchdog has said that respect for human rights must not be turned into a "political football" during the general election campaign.
Commenting specifically on Ireland's international human rights obligation to abolish the Special Criminal Court, the Council said that it "noted with regret" that the weekend's appalling attack at the Regency Hotel in Dublin was now being used by some electioneering politicians to buttress their claims that Ireland still needs an emergency court.
ICCL Executive Director Mr Mark Kelly said:
"The Special Criminal Court was an emergency court for a different era. On numerous occasions, the UN Human Rights Committee has called for it to be disbanded, as it creates a two-tier system of justice that has no place in a peacetime democracy. Politically posturing to appear tough on crime while electioneering is no substitute for respecting the rule of law by pledging to abolish this anachronistic tribunal."
Emily Glen, Communications Officer
Ph: 0879981574 /
Note to editor
In its most recent Concluding Observations on Ireland under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (July 2014) the UN Human Rights Committee stated that:
"18. The Committee reiterates its concern at the lack of a definition of terrorism under domestic legislation and the continuing operation of the Special Criminal Court. It expresses further concern at the expansion of the remit of the Court to include organized crime (arts. 14 and 26)."
"The State party should introduce a definition of "terrorist acts" in its domestic legislation, limited to offences which can justifiably be equated with terrorism and its serious consequences. It should also consider abolishing the Special Criminal Court."
Link to Concluding Observations of the UN Human Rights Committee on Ireland here