Legislative Observations

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission reviews draft legislation to make sure it meets with human rights and equality standards. We make recommendations where legislation has implications for promoting and protecting human rights and equality in Ireland. These recommendations are made to improve the quality of the legislation. They also inform the work of Government Departments, members of the Oireachtas, relevant statutory bodies, civil society and the public.

This section sets out recent legislative observations.

Recent Legislative Observations

Submission to the Joint-Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters on its work programme

11 Nov 2020

Consultation on Terms of Reference and Work Programme for the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters – November 2020 On the day that our Chief Commissioner and Commission Member Dr. Rosaleen McDonagh appear before the Joint Committee on Disability Matters, the Commission  welcomes the opportunity to contribute through this written submission to the development of...

COVID Committee Written Submission – The Impact of COVID-19 on People with Disabilites

17 Jul 2020

The Commission was invited to address the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response Dr. Frank Conaty, Acting Chief Commissioner and Commission Member Professor Caroline Fennell addressed the committee in person on Friday 17 July 2020. Ahead of the Committee meeting the Commission made the following written submission focused on the Impact of COVID-19 on People...

Observations on National Guidance on Prioritisation in Access to Critical Care in a Pandemic

3 Jul 2020

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has recommended a review of the Department of Health’s guidance framework on prioritisation in access to critical care in the context of COVID-19. The Commission has made this recommendation in a written submission to the Minister for Health, to ensure this important guidance meets the highest standards of...

Letter to Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D.

29 May 2020

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has contacted Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty T.D. regarding the exclusion of applicants for International Protection residing in direct provision from the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment Scheme. Letter to Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D.  

Letter to Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D. on Calculated Grade System

28 May 2020

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has contacted Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D. with its recommendations on the planned system of school-based calculated grades. 27 May 2020 – IHREC Letter to Minister for Education and Skills

Letter to Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D.

28 May 2020

In line with its mandate to keep law and practice as they relate to human rights and equality under review, the Commission has reviewed the legality of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and the exclusion of women returning from maternity leave. Letter to Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., 27th...

Letter to political parties on the Programme for Government

8 Apr 2020

As negotiations are underway to establish our next Government, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has written individually to the leaders of each of the political parties to urge them to ensure that human rights and equality are central to the next Programme for Government. Please find below this letter as addressed to Leo...

Review of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989

13 Dec 2019

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission submission to the Department of Justice and Equality public consultation – December 2019 The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is both the national human rights institution and the national equality body for Ireland, established under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014. The Commission has a...

Observations on the General Scheme of a Bill Entitled Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018

30 Sep 2018

In this paper, the Commission would like to focus on two specific themes that arise in the context of this scheme of the Bill: conscientious objection; and equality of access to services

Submission to the public consultation on Deprivation of Liberty: Safeguard Proposals

3 Apr 2018

The topics addressed in this submission are: Context: the protection of the right to liberty Proposed test in relation to deprivation of liberty Safeguards, procedural and evidential issues Review of deprivation of liberty Chemical restraint and restraint practices

Observations on the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

15 Feb 2018

The main provisions of the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 are amendments to two existing acts, the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 and the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 (with a consequential amendment to the Workplace Relations Act 2015). These amendments cover different aspects of the employment relationship, and some aspects of enforcement....

Observations on the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017

24 Jan 2018

The Commission welcomes the publication of the Equality  (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017  and the emerging consensus on the principle of prohibiting discrimination on the basis of ‘disadvantaged socio-economic status’. The Commission makes preliminary observations on the proposals under the Bill, addressing the following matters: Context of the legislative proposal Legal bases for the new ground...

Observations on the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill 2016

27 Feb 2017

In Part 1 of these observations, the Commission provides views on the specific wording in the Bill and Ireland’s obligations to transpose the Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA (the ‘Victims’ Directive’).

In Part 2, the Commission draws attention to a number of areas which have been identified as particularly challenging in advancing victims’ rights in Ireland.

Supplementary Observations on the Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016

24 Jan 2017

The Commission welcomes the publication of the Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016 (the ‘Bill’) in December 2016. It notes that a significant number of additional provisions are proposed to be introduced at the Committee Stage of the parliamentary debate. Prior to the publication of the Bill, the Commission published legislative observations on the General Scheme of the Equality / Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (the ‘General Scheme of the Bill’),4 and while these legislative observations are of continued relevance, the Commission takes the opportunity to provide a brief supplementary comment following publication of the Bill.

Observations on the General Scheme of the Equality / Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill

2 Dec 2016

In these recommendations, the Commission provides substantive observations on the following Heads of the General Scheme of the Bill: Head 1: Reasonable accommodation Head 2: National mechanisms Head 3: Deprivation of liberty Head 10: Amendment of Equal Status Act 2000-2015 Head 11: Amendment of Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 observations-on-the-general-scheme-equality-disability-miscellaneous-provisions-bill

Memorandum: Review of the Law on Access to Communication Data

IHREC Recommendations on the General Scheme of the International Protection Bill 26 June 2015

IHREC Observations on the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015

IHREC Observations on the Garda Síochána (Amendment No 3) Bill 2014

Equality Authority Observations on the Revised General Scheme of the Gender Recognition Bill 2014

IHREC Observations on the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Bill 2014

IHREC Observations on the Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Bill 2013

IHREC Observations on the General Scheme of the Gender Recogntion Bill 2013

IHRC Observations in the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, 2013

IHRC Observations on the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013

IHRC Observations in the Spent Convictions Bill 2012