Irish Community Development Law Journal is a peer reviewed online journal, published twice a year by Community Law & Meditation (formerly Northside Community Law & Mediation Centre) in Coolock, Dublin. The journal seeks to offer a platform for interaction that encourages greater scholarly and academic collaboration in the areas of social policy, law and community development, promoting the practice of community economic development law and policy in Ireland and learn about these initiatives in other countries.
The deadline for submissions is Friday 17th Oct 2014
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights focusing in particular upon Social Welfare Rights.
This edition will examine economic social and cultural rights focusing in particular upon social welfare rights in times of economic and social crisis. Austerity has been the core budgetary strategy for several years now which has posed a real challenge for social welfare policy.
The challenges posed to social welfare policy have also highlighted the difficulties in enforcing the right to social security/assistance before the Courts in light of the fact that economic social and cultural rights generally are not directly justiciable. Continue reading “Call for Submissions: Irish Community Development Law Journal”
The President of Ireland has asked the seven Universities, along with DIT, to further the discourse on ethics through hosting events across the campuses in the Academic Year 2013/2014. It is expected that these events will culminate in an event hosted at Áras an Uachtaráin towards the end of 2014. The aim is to enhance awareness of ethical responsibility in the professions and in the public domain, and to engage young people in the debate on ethical standards. The key objective is to enhance community engagement with ethics issues at the local level and nationally.
In rising to this challenge, on Tuesday, 24 June 2014, Dr Ronni Greenwood is organising and chairing an event titled: The Ethics of ‘Home’: Direct Provision, Homelessness and Ireland’s Housing Policies. This seminar will take place in The Exhibition Area, Limerick City Hall from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. Registration is required, and those interested in attending should email Niamh O’Sullivan on niamh.Osullivan@ul.ie or by calling 061-234607. The full programme is as follows:
- Dr Eoin O’Sullivan (TCD): “Institutions and the Production of Homelessness: Ethics, Service Provision and the Representation of Homelessness”
- Dr Liam Thornton (UCD): “The Rights of Others: Asylum Seekers and Direct Provision in Ireland”
- Dr Daithi Downey (DRHE): Reframing Housing Values Towards an Ethical Housing Policy”
The Seanad Éireann Public Consultation Committee is inviting public submissions on Ireland’s Fourth Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The issue of direct provision is one that the UN Human Rights Committee, the independent body responsible for assessing Ireland’s compliance with the ICCPR, has asked the Irish government to provide information on (see ICCPR list of issues and Ireland’s reply to list of issues).
The issue of direct provision was raised by a number of shadow reports from civil society organisations, in particular by the Free Legal Advice Centres (here), the Irish Human Rights Commission (here) , the Irish Council of Civil Liberties (here) and the Irish Refugee Council (here). The enormous work by these organisations have ensured that the issue of direct provision for asylum seekers remains on the UN human rights agenda.
I have made a submission on The System of Direct Provision and Ireland’s Obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to the Seanad Public Consultation Committee. In this submission, I note that all human rights are interdependent and indivisible, violations of economic, social and cultural rights may lead to violations of civil and political rights. The three core arguments I make to the Seanad Éireann Public Consultation Committee are:
- Ireland is fully aware of the significant negative impact that direct provision is having on a large number of families and individuals.
- The direct provision complaints system lacks any independent oversight. This must be remedied as a matter of urgency.
- The operation of the direct provision system is bordering on inhuman and degrading treatment, given the length of time individuals and families will have to remain in the system. Given the level of social control, poverty and enforced idleness imposed on asylum seekers for several years, the State is also violating rights to private and family life and rights to be treated equally before the law.
You can read my full submission here.
On Friday 09 May 2014, Prof Gerry Whyte is organising a conference on the enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights. This will take place in the Emmet Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. This follows the recent recommendation of the Constitutional Convention to extend constitutional protection for ESC rights. The conference will discuss how ESC rights are enforced in different legal orders and will address the question of how ESC rights might be enforced if the Convention’s recommendation is adopted.
The programme for this event is below. Registration is free, however places are limited. Those seeking to reserve a place at this event can do so by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org . Further information relating to this event can be found here.
|10:30 – 11:00
|11:00 – 11:40
||The South African Experience Professor Sandra Liebenberg, University of Stellenbosch
|11:40 – 12:20
||ESR and Budget Decisions Professor Aoife Nolan, University of Nottingham
|12:20 – 1:00
||ESC Rights and Europe Dr. Colm O Cinneide, University College London
|1:00 – 2:00
||Lunch (Not Provided)
|2:00 – 2:40
||Comparative Analysis of Judicial Enforcement of ESC Rights Dr. Paul O’Connell, SOAS, University of London
|2:40 – 3:20
||Enforcing ESC rights under the Irish Constitution Professor Gerry Whyte, Trinity College Dublin
|3:20 – 3:40
|3:40 – 5:00
Human Rights in Ireland is delighted to welcome this guest post from Prof Aoife Nolan. Aoife’s latest co-edited collection, Human Rights and Public Finance, was published by Hart in October 2013.
On Tuesday, the Constitutional Convention announced that their final two meetings in February 2014 would focus on economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights and Dáil reform. This decision followed a regional tour and consideration of almost 1000 public submissions received as part of the Convention’s decision-making process.
For economic and social rights advocates this is simultaneously a triumph and a call to arms. When the Convention was being established in 2012, the Government rejected both opposition proposals to include ESR rights on the original agenda, as well as amendments proposed to add them to the agenda when the resolution was being passed through the Oireachtas. However, a sustained campaign led by civil society, particularly Amnesty Ireland, has resulted in a clear, consistent message being sent to the Convention about the need for economic, social and cultural rights to be addressed in its work.
This is a highly significant development given the limited protection accorded to ESC rights by the Constitution – and by the judicial interpretation and application thereof. Historically, despite the fact that the Constitution contains a number of ESC rights (both express and unenumerated), concerns about the implications of adjudication of socio-economic rights for a narrow conception of separation of powers and the involvement of the courts in what have been deemed issues of ‘distributive justice’ (see O’Reilly v Limerick Corporation (1989) discussed here) has resulted in a general judicial reluctance to recognise and give proper effect to such rights.(See especially, the Supreme Court decisions in TD v Minister for Education (2001) and Sinnott v Minister for Education (2001)).
In terms of other potential constitutional avenues for ensuring ESC rights protection, there are several civil and political rights-related provisions that could be used as a basis for indirect protection of ESC rights and that have played such a role in other jurisdictions. These include the rights to life and property. That has not been the case in Ireland, however. Furthermore, even though some legislative civil and political rights protections incorporated into domestic law by means of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 have resulted in protection being afforded to elements of the right to adequate housing, for instance, they have had a limited overall impact on the Continue reading “Economic, Social & Cultural Rights & The Constitutional Convention”