Human Rights and Equality Commission Granted Liberty to Appear Before Supreme Court in Significant Equality Case

Commission to Appear as Amicus Curiae in Case

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (the ‘Commission’) has been granted leave by the Supreme Court to exercise its amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) function in this case, where a father was deemed ineligible for domiciliary care allowance while his severely disabled child was resident in hospital for periods of time that were longer than specified in the legislation providing for the allowance.

The Supreme Court granted permission to the boy and his father to appeal the case (Donnelly v. Minister for Social Protection & Ireland) as the application of the equality guarantee in social welfare matters is of general public importance, and the issues raised in respect of the particular facts of the case have the potential to affect other persons in similar positions.

As amicus curiae, the Commission will now assist the Supreme Court with submissions informed by the State’s obligations under European and international law, including the European Convention on Human Rights, European Union law, the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty.

Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“This case before the Supreme Court considers the right to equality, how this is assessed and applied in practice and the interpretation of rights guaranteed under the Irish and international law.

“The demands placed on carers, the supports available to them and how these are given is of huge practical concern for families in Ireland with children reliant on being cared for and supported by family.”

 

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

As the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is now formally involved in the proceedings, we are precluded from making any further comment as the matter is before the Supreme Court.

Where written submissions are made by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to the superior Courts in amicus curiae cases they will be made available on www.ihrec.ie after the case has been heard.

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.

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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