Irish Law Updates

Friday, May 02, 2008

Report of Commissioner for Human Rights on Ireland

The Report of the Commissioner for Human Rights on his visit to Ireland was just published on 30 April. It includes responses from the Irish Government.

Commissioner for Human Rights, Report by the Commissioner on his Visit to Ireland 26 - 30 November 2007 (CommDH(2008)9, Council of Europe, 2008)

Go to
www.commissioner.coe.int and choose 'Latest Documents'

For a link to the actual report, try this:
https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1283555

[Click the PDF icon if you want a PDF version]

Media report (extract):

Commissioner doesn't pull his punches
Irish Times, 1 May 2008
www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0501/1209592340146.html

Ireland's record in looking after vulnerable people is graphically spelt out by the Council of Europe, writes Jamie Smyth, European Correspondent

COMMISSIONER FOR human rights Thomas Hammarberg didn't pull any punches when he presented his report on Ireland's human rights record to the Council of Europe's committee of ministers in Strasbourg yesterday.

His 58-page analysis of Government policy lays bare his office's assessment that the standard of care currently provided to vulnerable groups in society such as children, asylum seekers, Travellers and psychiatric patients is unacceptable.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

LRC Report on Spent Convictions

There've been quite a number of interesting reports over the past few weeks which I've been meaning to include in posts but am only getting around to now. The first one is the Law Reform Commission�s Report on Spent Convictions.

Here's an extract from the press release:

"The Report sets out in detail the elements of the proposed spent convictions law and it also includes a draft Spent Convictions Bill to implement the Commission�s recommendations. The key elements include:
  • the types of offences which should be excluded completely from the proposed law: (a) any offence triable by the Central Criminal Court, such as murder; (b) any sexual offence as defined in the Sex Offenders Act 2001; and (c) any other offence where a sentence of more than 6 months (including a suspended sentence) has been imposed in court;
  • the length of time a person must be conviction-free to qualify for the conviction to be regarded as �spent�: 7 years from the date of conviction where a custodial sentence of up to 6 months is imposed; 5 years from the date of conviction where a non-custodial order is made, such as a fine or disqualification;
  • all convictions, including spent convictions, would still be disclosed at a sentencing hearing and in some non-criminal cases such as involving access to children.
  • The system would be automatic, rather than requiring the person to apply to court to have their conviction declared to be spent, as an application-based system would not be transparent and consistent."

Full Report:
http://www.lawreform.ie/publications/reports.htm

Press Release:
http://www.lawreform.ie/REPORT%20SPENT%20CONVICTIONS%20PRESS%20RELEASE%20JULY%2007.pdf

Sample News Story:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0731/justice.html

See also:
Extending the Scope of Employment Equality Legislation (2004)
http://www.ucc.ie/en/lawsite/research/research-projects/employment-equality/

(The above report included a section on the criminal conviction / ex-offender / ex-prisoner ground.)

Updates 2008-9 - See also:
Spent Convictions Group, Proposals on a Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill (2009)
Spent Convictions Bill 2007
Irish Human Rights Commission, Observations on Spent Convitions Bill (2009)
Irish Penal Reform Trust Position Paper on Spent Convictions

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