Irish Law Updates

Friday, February 08, 2008

Equality and the Sikh Turban Ban

Lord Lester facilitated a fascinating workshop this morning here at UCC on Equality Law, assisted by Colm O'Cinneide.

Among the many interesting points that arose concerning the recent ban on a Sikh turban in the Garda reserve were the following:

  • Could it be argued that a member of the Garda reserve is engaged in an "occupation" (under the Framework Directive 2000/78/EC)

  • Even though the particular person involved has withdrawn from the Garda reserve, could a Judicial Review be brought against the Garda Commissioner's decision?

  • Could a JR application be made by the Equality Authority and/or the Human Rights Commission?

  • If a JR were brought, an argument could be made that the Garda Commissioner's decision applies both to members of the reserve and ordinary Gardai, if need be, in response to any defence relating to the status of members of the reserve.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mandatory Life Sentences, the Constitution and the ECHR

RTE is reporting that a challenge to the mandatory life sentence has been rejected:

Challenges to life sentences rejected Friday, 5 October 2007 16:20

"Two convicted murderers have lost their High Court challenge to the constitutionality of the mandatory life sentence for murder.

They are 25-year-old Peter Whelan, who was jailed for life in 2002 for the murder of Cork student Nicola Sweeney, and 30-year-old Paul Lynch, who pleaded guilty in 1997 to the murder of Donegal pensioner, William Campbell.

Each claimed the sentence breached their rights under the Constitution and under the European Convention of Human Rights.

The two men claimed the mandatory life sentence interfered with the role of the judiciary and offended the independence of the judiciary enshrined in the Consitution.

They also claimed their rights under the Convention were breached because they have no way of knowing how or when they are likely to be released.

The case could have had implications for more than 250 people serving life sentences for murder in Ireland.

But Ms Justice Mary Irvine rejected the men's claims on all grounds."

The full story is here.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Proposed Referendum Regarding Children

The wording of the proposed constitutional amendment regarding children is available at
http://www.dohc.ie/press/releases/2007/20070219.html

The proposed Article 42(A) would say:

  1. The State acknowledges and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children.
  2. 1. In exceptional cases, where the parents of any child for physical or moral reasons fail in their duty towards such child, the State as guardian of the common good, by appropriate means shall endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.
    2. Provision may be made by law for the adoption of a child where the parents have failed for such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their duty towards the child, and where the best interests of the child so require.
  3. Provision may be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of any child.
  4. Provision may be made by law that in proceedings before any court concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child, the court shall endeavour to secure the best interests of the child.
  5. 1. Provision may be made by law for the collection and exchange of information relating to the endangerment, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or risk thereof, of children, or other persons of such a class or classes as may be prescribed by law.
    2. No provision in this Constitution invalidates any law providing for offences of absolute or strict liability committed against or in connection with a child under 18 years of age.
    3. The provisions of this section of this Article do not, in any way, limit the powers of the Oireachtas to provide by law for other offences of absolute or strict liability.
For some discussion of the proposed amendment see the archives of the Irish Law Discussion group at
https://listserv.heanet.ie/cgi-bin/wa?A1=ind0702&L=irishlaw

See also the usual media sites such as www.rte.ie/news/

Labels: