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

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...

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.

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