Human Rights and Equality Commission Appears Before Supreme Court in Family Rights Case

Commission Exercises Amicus Curiae in Supreme Court Case

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (the “Commission”) has today appeared before the Supreme Court as an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) in a case focused on marriage and family rights.

The Commission, in its legal submissions to the Supreme Court published today, has sought to assist the Court by setting out the legal framework governing marriage.

The case (MKFS v. the Minister for Justice and Equality) is expected to clarify whether a marriage contracted under the Civil Registration Act 2014 is valid where the Minister for Justice considers it to have been contracted for obtaining EU law entitlements.

In February 2019, the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal an earlier High Court Judgment, on the grounds there is a need to clarify the law on this matter beyond the facts of this particular case.

The Commission’s functions under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 include that of applying for liberty to appear as an amicus curiae before the superior courts in proceedings that involve, or are concerned with, the human rights or equality rights of any person.

In its role as amicus curiae, the Commission makes available to the Supreme Court its expertise on the relevant domestic and international human rights standards under consideration.

Emily Logan Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“As part of its legal submissions the Commission argued the status of a marriage validly contracted under Irish Law must be understood in light of the right to marry as protected under the Constitution, the European Convention of Human rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.”

 

ENDS/

For further information, please contact:

Karen Joynt, IHREC
01 8592605 / 085 1746883
kjoynt@ihrec.ie
Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Editor’s Note

The Commission’s written submissions are available at the following link:

MKFS v. the Minister for Justice and Equality

The amicus curiae function of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

The Commission’s functions under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 include that of applying for liberty to appear as an amicus curiae before the superior courts in proceedings that involve, or are concerned with, the human rights or equality rights of any person.

Section 10 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act sets out the functions of the Commission and Section 10(2)(e) provides that the IHREC shall have a function:

“to apply to the High Court or the Supreme Court for liberty to appear before the High Court or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, as amicus curiae in proceedings before that Court that involve or are concerned with the human rights or equality rights of any person and to appear as such an amicus curiae on foot of such liberty being granted (which liberty each of the said courts is hereby empowered to grant in its absolute discretion).”

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. It is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.

 

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