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 on Part 3 of the General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences and Human Trafficking) Bill 2022

6 Dec 2022

In October 2020, the Commission was designated as Ireland’s Independent National Rapporteur on the Trafficking of Human Beings. This accords with the obligation set forth in Article 19 of the EU’s Anti-Trafficking Directive that introduced a legally binding requirement for all EU Member States to establish National Rapporteurs or equivalent mechanisms. The development of a...

Submission to the Review of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018

24 Nov 2022

Submission to the Review of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 Accessible Word Version  

Submission on the General Scheme of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill

8 Nov 2022

Accessible word version of Submission on the General Scheme of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill

Submission on the General Scheme of a Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme Bill

19 Oct 2022

The Commission welcomes the opportunity to provide its submission on the General Scheme of a Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme Bill. The Commission recognises the diversity of women and children affected by their experiences within Mother and Baby Homes and related institutions including married women, unmarried women, Traveller women and children, disabled women and...

Submission on the General Scheme of the Health (Termination of Pregnancy Services (Safe Access Zones)) Bill 2022

6 Oct 2022

The Commission welcomes the opportunity to provide the Minister for Health with its submission on the General Scheme of the Health (Termination of Pregnancy Services (Safe Access Zones)) Bill 2022. The Commission acknowledges the complexity of the sensitive issues being considered by the Minister in respect of this legislation. In particular the Commission acknowledges that...

Legislative Submission to the Garda Síochána (Powers) Bill

30 May 2022

The consolidation of Garda powers touches upon a number of rights and equality issues. The Commission advises that the precise scope of the powers provided to An Garda Síochána needs to be outlined within the legislation, as opposed to being addressed in codes of practice. Additionally, a clear distinction needs to be maintained between ordinary...

Submission on the General Scheme of the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill

17 May 2022

In its recommendations published in May 2022 on the General Scheme of the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill, the Commission notes that the General Scheme both engages and interferes with a number of fundamental human rights, protected under the Constitution and international human rights laws. In order to align this legislation with the State’s human rights...

Submission to the Minister for Justice on the General Scheme of the Garda Síochána (Digital Recording) Bill

18 Apr 2022

Commission submission to the Minister for Justice on the General Scheme of the Garda Síochána (Digital Recording) Bill (the ‘General Scheme’). The Commission and its predecessor body, the Irish Human Rights Commission, have previously highlighted a range of human rights and equality concerns relating to the recording and storing of images, and the adequacy and...

Submission on the General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Hate Crime) Bill

20 Mar 2022

The Commission welcomes the opportunity to provide the Joint Committee on Justice with its submission on the General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Hate Crime) Bill which it hopes will assist the Committee in its pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill. The Commission has previously raised a number of human rights and equality issues arising in...

Report of a review of section 19 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2005 carried out pursuant to section 30 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014

14 Feb 2022

Word Version of Review of the Intoxicating Liquor Act pursuant to section 30 of the IHREC Act  Cover Letter to Minister O’Gorman

Recommendations on the Review of the Equality Acts

10 Jan 2022

In June 2021, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth announced a review of the Equality Acts, including the Equal Status Acts 2000-2018  and the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015. In our role as Ireland’s National Equality Body ,The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission welcomes the opportunity to make this initial submission on the...

Submission on the General Scheme of the Housing and Planning and Development Bill 2019

30 Nov 2021

The Commission has a mandate to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in the State relating to the protection of human rights and equality and to examine any legislative proposal and report its views on any implications for human rights or, equality. We have used this power in examining the General...

Submission to the Independent Review Group on the Offences Against the State Acts

19 Nov 2021

Submission to the Independent Review Group on the Offences Against the State Acts

Advisory Paper to the Interdepartmental Group on the Government’s Planned Development of a ‘Restorative Recognition Scheme for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes’

16 Nov 2021

Advisory Paper to the Interdepartmental Group on the Government’s Planned Development of a ‘Restorative Recognition Scheme for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes’

Observations and Recommendations on the General Scheme of the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Bill 2021

5 Nov 2021

In accordance with its founding legislation, the Commission is mandated to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law and practice in the State relating to the protection of human rights and equality and to examine any legislative proposal and report its views on any implications for human rights or, equality. The purpose of...

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