Taking Legal Action

The Commission’s legal functions are set out in law under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014

Amicus curiae (friend of the court)

The Commission’s legal powers include the power to apply to the High Court, Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court for liberty to appear before the courts as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in proceedings that involve or are concerned with  human rights or equality. Read more about our recent Amicus Curiae submissions here.

Legal Assistance

The Commission can also provide practical assistance, including under specific circumstances, legal representation, to persons in vindicating their rights under human rights and anti-discrimination legislation, in particular under the Employment Equality Acts 1998–2015, the Equal Status Acts 2000–2015, the European Convention on Human Rights Acts 2003 and 2014, and more generally in relation to the protection and promotion of human rights and equality. Read more about our recent Legal Assistance work here.

Codes of practice

The Commission also has legal functions under its founding legislation in relation to the preparation of codes of practice around the protection of human rights; the elimination of discrimination; and the promotion of equality of opportunity, and to conduct inquiries and to carry out equality reviews and prepare equality action plans or to invite others to do so.

The Commission has secured accreditation under the international ‘Lexcel’ standard. Lexcel is an international quality standard developed by the Law Society of England and Wales, which focuses on excellence in legal practice management and client care. The Commission legal team is the first in-house legal service in Ireland to obtain this quality mark.

Recent legal publications:

Publication of Decisions by the Workplace Relations Commission Under the Employment Equality Acts (1998-2015) and the Equal Status Acts (2000-2015)


Guidelines on Applications for Assistance

IHREC Policy on Requests for Inquiries

Amicus Curiae Guidelines