Human Rights and the Irish Government's Legislative Agenda 2012 and Beyond

The Department of An Taoiseach has published the overly ambitious legislative agenda for the current Dáil and Seanad session. The Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 will (hopefully!) be heading to Committee Stage this term. The 2010 Immigration Bill has been around in essence since 2006, and will unlikely be coming into force for some time to come yet, despite severe need for fundamental reform of Ireland’s immigration and asylum laws.  Previous blog posts have discussed concerns with the 2010 Bill and its provisions, as well as noting the severe delays in debating this bill [see, here, here and here].  In the immediate future, a number of significant bills are expected be published that will engage Ireland’s human rights obligations under domestic, European and international human rights law. Of particular note in this regard will be establishing the DNA database (see Vicky’s Blog Carnival posts on DNA databases) and reforming the law on mental capacity (see Law Reform Commission’s report here and Human Rights in Ireland contributions to the wider capacity debate here).

A large number of other  Schemes/Heads of Bills are currently being drafted up as bills, in particular as regards criminal justice issues, corruption Continue reading “Human Rights and the Irish Government's Legislative Agenda 2012 and Beyond”

Human Rights and the Irish Government's Legislative Agenda 2012 and Beyond

New Mental Health and Mental Capacity legislation in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety proposes to introduce combined mental health and mental capacity legislation in early 2011. A consultation process has commenced and the Department is receiving submissions on the proposed legislation up to 31 October 2010. This legislative proposal is significant as it would make Northern Ireland the first jurisdiction to introduce such a combined approach (although there are some examples of jurisdictions, such as Scotland, which have introduced a capacity test in mental health legislation).

Those in favour of a combined system argue that this will prevent individuals from falling between the cracks of existing legislative provisions. It is also argued that a combined mental health and mental capacity system would be more compliant with international human rights norms, especially the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)– as it would prioritise autonomy and capacity (rather than diagnosis of mental disorder and risk of harm) as the key principles in determining whether compulsory treatment or detention can be authorised.

Continue reading “New Mental Health and Mental Capacity legislation in Northern Ireland”

New Mental Health and Mental Capacity legislation in Northern Ireland