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 the General Scheme of the Family Court Bill (2020)

3 Aug 2021

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission’s legislative observations and recommendations to the Oireachtas Justice Committee on the General Scheme of the Family Courts Bill 2020.  

Submission on the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill

14 Jul 2021

In this submission on the General Scheme of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2021 The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission provides its legislative observations focusing on the following matters: – The Right of Access to Birth Certificates and Early Life Information; – ‘No Contact’ Preference and Counselling; – The Child’s Access Rights; and...

Submission to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, COVID-19 and Civil Liberties

31 May 2021

The Commission submission to the Joint Committee on Justice’s deliberations on whether the appropriate balance between the fundamental rights of members of Irish society and the State’s duty to protect public health was struck during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Submission to the Minister for Justice on the General Scheme of the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2020

9 Apr 2021

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission’s legislative observations and recommendations to the Minister for Justice on the General Scheme of the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2020

Submission to the Joint Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht on the General Scheme of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill

14 Mar 2021

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission’s recommendations to the Joint Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht on the General Scheme of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill.

Submission to the Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration on the General Scheme of a Certain Institutional Burials (Authorised Interventions) Bill

20 Feb 2021

The Commission welcomes the opportunity to provide the Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration with its submission on the General Scheme of a Certain Institutional Burials (Authorised Interventions) Bill (the ‘General Scheme’). The Commission has previously raised concerns about the human rights and equality issues arising in connection to this piece of legislation....

Submission to the Committee on Justice on the Dying with Dignity Bill 2020

3 Feb 2021

The Commission welcomes the opportunity to provide the Committee on Justice with submissions on the Dying with Dignity Bill 2020  which it hopes will assist the Committee in its scrutiny of the Bill. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is both the national human rights institution and the national equality body for Ireland, established...

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

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