Human Rights and Equality Update - Issue 2 2019
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Issue 2 2019
 
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Welcome,

In this issue of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission newsletter, we bring you the latest news from the Commission, together with useful resources and information on significant human rights and equality issues in Ireland.

In this issue:

For more information on our work visit www.ihrec.ie or follow the Commission on twitter @_IHREC

 
 

Commission sets out its strategic priorities to 2021

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The Commission has set out its strategic priorities and focus for 2019-2021.

The Strategy Statement, launched on the 6th of February, sets out the four strategic priorities that the Commission will pursue over the next three years:

Strategic Priority 1 
- Protect the rights of individual persons who face the greatest barriers to justice
Strategic Priority 2 
- Influence legislation, policy and practice
Strategic Priority 3
- Engage with key organisations to address discrimination and human rights abuses
Strategic Priority 4 
- Raise the quality and broaden the extent of the dialogue on human rights and equality issues

The Commission has also committed to focusing its work over the next three years on advancing the following four areas: Promoting people’s access to justice; Advancing socio-economic rights in the areas of housing, health and decent work; Combatting racism and promoting intercultural understanding and Disability rights.

Resources
Strategy Statement 2019-2021
Ráiteas Straitéise 2019-2021
Strategy Statement Explained - video

Related Media
Irish Times article
Irish Independent article
Commission media release
Preasráiteas an Choimisiúin

 
 

Advancing human rights and equality in the courts - Supreme Court ruling points to significant changes in contempt of court procedures

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The Commission welcomed the significant judgment of the Supreme Court, in which the Commission exercised its amicus curiae (“friend of the Court”) function.

The judgment in the case of Mr. Kevin Tracey, sees the Supreme Court clarify the law on how contempt of court issues should be approached by Judges with respect to ensuring a person’s right to a fair trial.

The case arises from a contempt of court ruling issued against Mr. Tracey in the District Court, and how the finding of contempt was made.  Today’s ruling is likely to bring significant changes to practice in how a charge of contempt of court is brought forward and dealt within Ireland’s court system.

Resources
Commission's submissions to the Supreme Court

Related Media
Irish Times article
Irish Examiner article
Commission media release

 
 

Advancing human rights and equality in the courts - Commission granted liberty to appear before Supreme Court in right to silence case

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The Commission has been granted leave by the Supreme Court to exercise its amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) function in a significant case that is examining the right to silence when a person is questioned as part of a criminal investigation.

The case (Sweeney v. Minister for Justice, Ireland and the Attorney General) has been referred directly from the High Court to the Supreme Court due to the important constitutional issues at question. It will explore the nature and extent of the right to silence, and the offence of withholding information under section 9(1)(b) of the Offences Against the State Acts.

Related Media
Irish Legal News
Commission media release

 
 

Upcoming event - Be heard: ending racial discrimination in Ireland

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The Commission, in association with the National Youth Council of Ireland, are inviting young people – aged 16-24 – to tell us how the Irish Government could create a more just and equal society that is free from racial discrimination.

Ireland committed to end racial discrimination when it ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination in 2000. Later this year, a UN Committee of experts in Geneva will assess Ireland’s progress and make recommendations for further action. On March 30th, the Commission wants to hear how we can build greater intercultural understanding in Ireland, drawing on young people’s personal experiences.

Resources
Register - Be heard: ending racial discrimination in Ireland

 
 

Inaugural meeting of the Disability Advisory Committee

CRPD Disability Advisory Committee 
The first meeting has taken place of the Disability Advisory Committee. The committee, made up of a majority of people with disabilities, is brought together by the Commission to support its formal role in monitoring Ireland’s implementation of the UN Convention, on the rights of people with disabilities (UNCRPD).

The CRPD was ratified in 2018 more than a decade after being first signed by Ireland and is now in force. Ireland is expected to produce its first report to the United Nations in Geneva on its implementation of the Convention in 2020. Article 33 of the Convention requires an independent mechanism to monitor the implementation, a role which will be fulfilled by the Commission.

Resources
Members of the Disability Advisory Committee

Related Media
RTÉ Drive Time - Interview Committee Members
Commission media release

 
 

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