Human Rights and Equality Commission Appears in Contempt of Court Case

Commission Exercises Amicus Role Following Supreme Court Approach

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 focusing on contempt of court issues.

The case arises from a contempt of court ruling issued against an individual in the District Court, and focused on the manner in which the finding of contempt was made, and whether this breached the individual’s rights in light of the Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), or under EU  law.

The Commission has presented its submissions as to the application of the relevant constitutional protections and ECHR standards relating to the right to a fair trial, for the assistance of the Supreme Court. The Commission has submitted its conclusion that the case was not in compliance with the Constitution and ECHR as, amongst other things, the individual was not provided with adequate time to consider and react appropriately either to defend himself, apologise or take any other action.

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, human rights or equality rights. The case marks the first occasion where the Commission has been invited by the Supreme Court to exercise its amicus curiae (friend of the court) function.

ENDS/

For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095

bdawson@ihrec.ie

Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Editor’s Note

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

Tracey Supreme Court Amicus

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 (‘friend of the court’) 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 Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.

 

 

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