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The European Convention on Human Rights in Ireland

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  • pg 1
									The European Convention
on Human Rights
in Ireland




                NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   1
CONTENTS                                                                                               KEY WORDS
KEY WORDS                                                                                          1   ADMISSIBLE                            EUROPEAN COURT OF                     LEGISLATION
                                                                                                       Suitable to be heard by a court       HUMAN RIGHTS                          Law made by the TDs and Senators
YOUR GUIDE TO THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS                                              2   under the rules of the court.         The court that hears cases from       of the Oireachtas.
                                                                                                                                             people whose rights under the
BACKGROUND TO THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS                                              4   APPEAL                                European Convention on Human          MEP
                                                                                                       A challenge in a higher court to a    Rights have been affected. See page   Member of the European
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 2003                                                       5   decision in a lower court.            28 for more information.              Parliament.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS PROTECTED BY THE ECHR:                                       6   CASE                                  EXPULSION                             SOLICITOR
                                                                                                       A legal dispute between               Being made by the government          A lawyer who deals with the person
       Right to Life                                                                               6                                                                               taking the case. A solicitor advises
                                                                                                       two parties (individuals or           to leave a country. See also
       Right to Freedom from Torture and Ill-Treatment                                             8   organisations) that is resolved       ‘Deportation’ and ‘Extradition’.      people before they are arrested and
                                                                                                       by a court or by some other legal                                           charged or before they take a case.
       Right to Freedom from Slavery                                                               9   process.                              EXTRADITION                           Often, a solicitor is the only lawyer
                                                                                                                                             A system where one country hands      you will need.
       Right to Liberty and Security                                                              10   COMPULSORY PURCHASE                   over a suspected or convicted
                                                                                                       ORDER                                 criminal if they are wanted in        STATE AGENTS
       Right to a Fair Trial                                                                      13   An order that enables an official     another country to stand trial, be    People employed by the
                                                                                                       body to buy land from a person or     sentenced or serve their sentence.    government to carry out the
       Right to Privacy and Family Life                                                           16   group, even if the land owner does                                          functions of the state, for example
                                                                                                       not want to sell.                     EUROPEAN CONVENTION                   the police, the army or local
       Right to Freedom of Thought                                                                17                                         ON HUMAN RIGHTS (ECHR)                authorities. The ECHR also refers to
                                                                                                       CORPORAL PUNISHMENT                   Also known as the Convention for      these as government actors.
       Right to Freedom of Expression                                                             18
                                                                                                       Punishing someone by inflicting       the Protection of Human Rights
       Right to Assemble and Associate                                                            20   physical pain, usually by hitting     and Fundamental Freedoms, an             TREATY
                                                                                                       them with something.                  agreement adopted by the Council An agreement between countries.
       Right to Marry and Equality Between Spouses                                                21                                         of Europe in 1950 that contains
                                                                                                       DETENTION                             various rights such as the right to a
       Right to an Effective Remedy                                                               22   A period of time during which you     fair trial, the right to privacy and the
                                                                                                       are confined to one place and not     right to freedom of expression and
       Right to Freedom from Discrimination                                                       23   allowed to leave, for example in a    association. Ireland gave further
                                                                                                       Garda station or a prison.            effect to the ECHR in Irish law
       Right to Property                                                                          24                                         through the European Convention
                                                                                                       DEPORTATION                           on Human Rights Act 2003.
       Right to Education                                                                         25   A process in which the government
       Right to Free Elections                                                                    26   makes a person leave a country.       JUDGMENT
                                                                                                       This may be because they were         A formal decision made by a court.
       Safeguards for Expulsions                                                                  27   living there illegally.

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS                                                                    28   DNA
                                                                                                       An acronym for deoxyribonucleic
TAKING A CASE TO THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS                                               30   acid, a chemical found in every
                                                                                                       cell in the human body. DNA is
MORE INFORMATION                                                                                  36   unique to each individual, except
                                                                                                       for twins, and holds complex
CONTACTS                                                                                          37   information about a person’s family
                                                                                                       relationships and body.

2 THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY.2010 NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.
NOTE: IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES IT IS                                                                                                                                             IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010   1
YOUR GUIDE TO THE
EUROPEAN CONVENTION
ON HUMAN RIGHTS
                                                                                                                                                 What types of rights                              What if my rights
What is in this pack?                                                                           What is in the ECHR?                             does the ECHR protect?                            are interfered with?
This pack has information about:                                                                The ECHR has 59 articles, or sections, setting
                                                                                                out human rights and freedoms such as:           The ECHR protects you against the                 Whether or not the government has
• the European Convention on Human Rights                                                                                                        government interfering with your rights.          interfered with your rights under the
  (ECHR),                                                                                       •   the right to life,                           It contains two main types of rights,             ECHR will depend on the particular
                                                                                                •   freedom from torture,                        absolute rights and qualified rights.             situation. For more information about
• Ireland’s European Convention on Human                                                        •   the right to liberty, and                                                                      how these rights may apply to you,
  Rights Act 2003,                                                                              •   the right to privacy.                        • Absolute rights. The government is never        you should contact a solicitor or one
                                                                                                                                                   allowed to interfere with these rights. For     of the organisations listed in the
• the European Court of Human Rights,                                                           It also has rules about the working methods        example, the government is never allowed        Contacts section on page 37.
                                                                                                of the European Court of Human Rights.             to introduce slavery or forced labour.
• some of the main human rights and
  fundamental freedoms protected by the                                                         There are 15 protocols to the ECHR. A            • Qualified rights. The ECHR contains             Where can I get
  ECHR, and                                                                                     protocol contains changes to the Convention        some rights that the government can             more information?
                                                                                                or rights that were added after the original       interfere with in certain circumstances, for
• how to take a case to the European Court                                                      agreement was made. The rights in a                example the right to privacy or the right       This pack provides a very short overview
  of Human Rights.                                                                              protocol are just as important as the rights       to freedom of expression. However, the          of your rights under the ECHR. You will
                                                                                                in the Convention itself. The protocols            government must have very good reasons          find a list of useful further information
What is the European                                                                            can be split into two main groups:                 to justify interfering with a qualified right   on page 36.
Convention on Human Rights?                                                                                                                        in each case. Sometimes, ECHR rights are
                                                                                                • protocols that change procedures, such as        balanced against each other. For example,
The European Convention on Human Rights                                                           how the European Court of Human Rights           one person’s right to privacy might be
(ECHR) is an international agreement or                                                           works, and                                       balanced against another person’s right to
treaty. Countries that have signed up to it                                                                                                        freedom of expression.
promise to protect the human rights and                                                         • protocols that add more rights to the rights
fundamental freedoms of every person.                                                             already protected under the Convention.

You can find a copy of the ECHR on the
website of the European Court of Human
Rights at www.echr.coe.int under the heading
Basic Texts. A simplified version of the ECHR
is available under the heading The Court.




2   NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.                                                                                                               IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010   3
BACKGROUND TO THE ECHR                                                                                                                                                    EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON
                                                                                                                                                                          HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 2003
Where did the ECHR come from?                                                                    What is the relationship between                                         What is the European Convention                 What is the relationship between
The ECHR was drafted by the Council of                                                           the Council of Europe and the                                            on Human Rights Act 2003?                       the ECHR Act 2003, the Irish courts
Europe after the Second World War. Ireland                                                       European Union (EU)?                                                     The European Convention on Human                and the European Court of Human
agreed to respect the Convention when it                                                         The Council of Europe and the European                                   Rights Act 2003 (ECHR Act 2003) gives           Rights?
signed it in 1953.                                                                               Union (EU) are two separate international                                more weight to the ECHR in Irish law.           Under the ECHR Act 2003, the Irish courts
                                                                                                 organisations.                                                                                                           should use the judgments of the European
What is the Council of Europe?                                                                                                                                            What does the ECHR Act                          Court of Human Rights when making
This is an international organisation with 47
member countries. The aim of the Council
                                                                                                 • The Council of Europe is based in
                                                                                                   Strasbourg, France. It has 47 member
                                                                                                                                                                          2003 do?                                        decisions about cases in Ireland. The ECHR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Act 2003 should also ensure that Irish law is
of Europe is to create common principles                                                           countries and was set up to promote                                    In line with the Constitution and other         developed in ways that respect the rights and
throughout Europe based on human rights,                                                           democracy and to protect human                                         national laws:                                  freedoms protected by the ECHR.
democracy and the rule of law.                                                                     rights and the rule of law in Europe.
                                                                                                                                                                          • it makes it unlawful for certain government   The European Court of Human Rights gives
Ireland was one of the founding members of                                                       • The EU is an economic, social and political                              agencies or departments to act in a way       judgments on cases involving different legal
the Council of Europe in May 1949. You will                                                        partnership between 27 member countries                                  that interferes with your ECHR rights,        systems across the Council of Europe. The
find contact details for the Council of Europe                                                     and is based in Brussels. Countries that join                                                                          law in Ireland should take account of the
on page 36 or you can visit the website                                                            the EU allow decisions on specific matters                             • and permits the Irish courts to hear          judgments of the European Court of Human
www.coe.int.                                                                                       to be made at European level and agree to                                arguments about the ECHR in cases             Rights, even when those judgments involve
                                                                                                   adopt European laws in their own countries.                              before them.                                  countries other than Ireland.
What is the relationship between
the ECHR and the European Union                                                                     Countries Of The Council Of Europe                                    Does the ECHR Act 2003 create
(EU)?                                                                                               Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia
                                                                                                                                                                          new rights in Ireland?
In 2010, the EU indicated that it wishes                                                            & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
to sign up to the ECHR. This means that in                                                          Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece,          The ECHR Act 2003 does not create any new
future all of the institutions of the EU, such as                                                   Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,   rights, but it does mean that judges should
the European Commission and the European                                                            Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands,          consider a person’s rights under the ECHR
Court of Justice, will have to ensure that EU                                                       Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San            when they give decisions. Government bodies
laws and policies are in line with the ECHR.                                                        Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain,             should also make sure that their policies
                                                                                                    Switzerland, Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.              and practices are in line with the ECHR.
From time to time, the Council of Europe
and the EU work together on ‘joint projects’
related to the ECHR. For example, the Council                                                       Countries Of The European Union (EU)
                                                                                                                                                                          What is a declaration of
of Europe and the EU have worked together                                                            Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,         incompatibility?
to help judges in EU countries become more                                                          Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland,          If a judge in the High Court finds that an
familiar with the ECHR.                                                                             Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands,             Irish law or rule is out of line with the
                                                                                                    Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden,         ECHR, they can give a ‘declaration of
                                                                                                    United Kingdom.                                                       incompatibility’. The Government must
                                                                                                                                                                          then decide how to change the law.
4   NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.                                                                                                                                      IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010   5
HUMAN       RIGHT TO LIFE
            (Article 2 and Protocols 6 and 13)
RIGHTS AND
FUNDAMENTAL                                    Article 2:
                                               1. Everyone’s right to life shall be protected
                                                                                                     There are only three circumstances where a               The European Court of Human Rights has



FREEDOMS
                                                                                                     person can lawfully take the life of someone             found that the right to life was violated when
                                                  by law. No one shall be deprived of his life       else. These are:                                         the police failed to:
                                                  intentionally save in the execution of a


PROTECTED
                                                  sentence of a court following his conviction       • to defend themselves or another                        • protect children who were later killed by
                                                  of a crime for which this penalty is provided        person against unlawful violence;                        their father;


BY THE ECHR
                                                  by law.
                                               2. Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as       • to make an arrest or prevent                           • effectively investigate shootings by other
                                                   inflicted in contravention of this article when     someone escaping;                                        police officers.
                                                   it results from the use of force which is no
                                                   more than absolutely necessary:                   • to stop a riot or violent uprising
                                                  (a) in defence of any person from unlawful           against the government.
                                                       violence;                                                                                                 Jordan v United Kingdom (2003)
                                                  (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to       The force used in these circumstances must                  In November 1992, Mr Pearse Jordan, who was unarmed at the
                                                       prevent the escape of a person lawfully       be ‘no more than is absolutely necessary’.                  time, was shot and killed during a Royal Ulster Constabulary
                                                       detained;                                                                                                 (RUC) surveillance operation on the Falls Road in Belfast.
                                                  (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of    The European Court of Human Rights has                      A brief police investigation and incomplete inquest followed,
                                                       quelling a riot or insurrection.              considered a number of cases involving the                  but nobody was prosecuted or faced disciplinary action. Pearse
                                                                                                     right to life. The Court has used the following             Jordan’s father, Mr Hugh Jordan, complained that his son was
                                                                                                     principles:                                                 unjustifiably killed by a RUC officer, and that the authorities
                                               Article 1, Protocol No. 6, Protocol No. 13                                                                        failed to properly investigate the shooting. The European Court
                                               The death penalty shall be abolished.                 • the ECHR bans unlawful killing by                         of Human Rights found that the authorities’ investigation into
                                               No one shall be condemned to such penalty               state agents, for example the Gardaí                      the shooting was not effective, because it was carried out by
                                               or executed.                                            or prison officers;                                       police officers who were not independent.

                                             Your right to life is protected under the law.          • the government has to take positive
                                             The death penalty has been abolished by all                steps to protect life, for example by
                                             Council of Europe countries even in times of              making murder an offence or making
                                             war or other emergency.                                   sure that inquests take place;

                                                                                                     • if the police think that there is an immediate
                                                                                                       risk to someone’s life, they must act to
                                                                                                       protect the right to life;

                                                                                                     • the government must effectively investigate
                                                                                                       all deaths caused by state agents, such
                                                                                                       as the police, army or prison service. The
                                                                                                       investigations must be independent, open,
                                                                                                       prompt and thorough.

6   IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                      NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   7
RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM TORTURE                                                                                                                                           RIGHT TO FREEDOM
AND ILL-TREATMENT (Article 3)                                                                                                                                           FROM SLAVERY (Article 4)

    Article 3: No one shall be subjected to                                                       The government must take positive steps to                              Article 4:                                            The European Court of Human Rights has a
    torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment                                                  protect people from torture and degrading                               1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.     test to work out whether someone is being
    or punishment.                                                                                treatment. It must investigate any complaint                            2. No one shall be required to perform forced or     forced to work or treated as a slave:
                                                                                                  that state agents have carried out torture or                              compulsory labour.
You have the right not to be tortured. You                                                        treated someone in an inhuman or degrading                              3. For the purpose of this article the term forced   • Are you working against your will?
have the right to be free from treatment or                                                       way. These investigations must be effective.                               or compulsory labour shall not include:
punishment that is inhuman or degrading.                                                          They must be independent, open, prompt and                                 (a) any work required to be done in the           • Does the work fall outside your normal
                                                                                                  thorough.                                                                      ordinary course of detention imposed            work duties?
Even in times of emergency, such as war,                                                                                                                                         according to the provisions of Article 5
the ECHR forbids torture, ill treatment or                                                        The European Court of Human Rights has                                         of this Convention or during conditional      • Is the work unjust, oppressive or an
degrading treatment. The European Court                                                           found that the right to freedom from torture,                                  release from such detention;                    avoidable hardship? If it is a normal work
of Human Rights has made clear that even                                                          ill-treatment and degrading treatment was                                  (b) any service of a military character or,         duty, can it be considered an unfair burden
people who break the law, such as people                                                          violated when:                                                                 in case of conscientious objectors in           or is it really required?
accused of terrorism, are protected from                                                                                                                                         countries where they are recognised,
torture, ill treatment or degrading treatment.                                                    • an opposition leader was tortured and there                                  service exacted instead of compulsory         The European Court of Human Rights has
                                                                                                    was no effective investigation;                                              military service;                             found that the right to freedom from slavery
The Court has defined torture as deliberate                                                                                                                                  (c) any service exacted in case of an             or forced labour was violated where the
inhuman treatment that causes very serious                                                        • a person was to be extradited to a country                                   emergency or calamity threatening the         criminal law did not properly protect a girl
and cruel suffering. Inhuman and degrading                                                          where they would sit on death row for an                                     life or well-being of the community;          who had her passport confiscated and was
treatment are less serious than torture.                                                            indefinite period;                                                       (d) any work or service which forms part of       forced to work without pay or time off.
                                                                                                                                                                                 normal civic obligations.
The level of harshness that is needed to                                                          • a prisoner who was on a hunger strike in
amount to ill treatment depends on the                                                              protest at prison conditions was force-fed;                         You cannot be treated as a slave or forced              Siliadin v France (2005)
person and the circumstances. For example,                                                                                                                              to work.                                                In 1994, Ms Siwa-Akofa Siliadin, a 15-year-old girl from Togo,
treatment that could be used lawfully against                                                     • a state failed to protect children who                                                                                      arrived in France on a tourist visa with the help of a French
an adult may be considered inhuman or                                                               suffered serious ill-treatment at the hands                         This is an absolute right and the ECHR                  family of Togolese origin, to work in the family’s home in
degrading if used on a child or a person with                                                       of their parents.                                                   forbids slavery or forced labour even in times          Paris. They had promised to cover the cost of her airfare and
learning difficulties.                                                                                                                                                  of emergency, such as war.                              to arrange for her immigration papers and schooling. In fact,
                                                                                                     Selmouni v France (1999)                                                                                                   the family took away her passport and ‘lent’ her to a second
The Court has found inhuman or degrading                                                             Mr Ahmed Selmouni, a Moroccan/Netherlands national,                The government must take positive steps to              family to work as an unpaid housemaid seven days a week.
treatment or punishment in the following                                                             was arrested in France on suspicion of involvement in drug         protect people against slavery and forced               After three years, the second family was brought to court on
areas (see key words):                                                                               trafficking. In the police station he was subjected to several     labour, for example to make slavery a                   charges of obtaining services without payment and taking
                                                                                                     days of violent assaults and degrading treatment by police         criminal offence.                                       advantage of a vulnerable person. The girl received some
• detention in a police station or prison;                                                           officers during questioning. This resulted in extensive injury                                                             compensation, but the appeal court decided that, according
                                                                                                     and permanent damage to one of his eyes. The European              Forced labour is when you are recruited                 to French law, the family hadn’t committed a crime serious
• corporal punishment; and                                                                           Court of Human Rights found that States are expected to            against your will or forced to work without             enough to deserve a prison sentence. The European Court of
                                                                                                     reach higher standards now than in the past and that the           normal rights such as breaks, fair payment or           Human Rights found that France was in violation of Article 4
• extradition and deportation.                                                                       treatment he suffered was extreme enough to be classed as          holidays or tied to your employer by debt or            for failing to have strict enough laws to prevent and punish
                                                                                                     torture. The Court found France to be in violation of Article 3.   threats of violence.                                    slavery, servitude and forced labour.

8    NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.                                                                                                                                                  IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010   9
RIGHT TO LIBERTY AND SECURITY
(Article 5 and Articles 1—3 of Protocol 4)

     Article 5                                              2. Everyone who is arrested shall be informed        You have the right not to be deprived of your               If you are arrested, you have the right to be
     1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of      promptly, in a language which he understands,     liberty except in certain circumstances (see                told the reasons for the arrest and any charge
        person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty        of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge   below). To be deprived of your liberty means                made against you, in a language that you
        save in the following cases and in accordance          against him.                                      to be held against your will, and Irish law                 understand. You have the right to be brought
        with a procedure prescribed by law:                 3. Everyone arrested or detained in accordance       should state clearly when and how this is                   before a court in a reasonable period of time,
        (a) the lawful detention of a person after             with the provisions of paragraph 1.c of this      allowed to happen. You can only be deprived                 to challenge the grounds for your detention
            conviction by a competent court;                   article shall be brought promptly before a        of your liberty for one of the reasons set out in           and to have a trial in a reasonable time.
        (b) the lawful arrest or detention of a person         judge or other officer authorised by law to       Article 5 of the ECHR:
             for non-compliance with the lawful order of       exercise judicial power and shall be entitled                                                                 You cannot give up your right to liberty. Even if
             a court or in order to secure the fulfilment      to trial within a reasonable time or to release   • you have been convicted of a crime                        you agree to be detained unlawfully it will still
             of any obligation prescribed by law;              pending trial. Release may be conditioned by        by a court;                                               be a violation of your rights. If you have been
        (c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person         guarantees to appear for trial.                                                                               deprived of your liberty in a way that violates
            effected for the purpose of bringing him        4. Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by        • you have not followed a court order;                      Article 5, you have the right to compensation.
            before the competent legal authority on           arrest or detention shall be entitled to take
            reasonable suspicion of having committed          proceedings by which the lawfulness of his         • to bring you before a court because you                   A large number of cases have been decided
            an offence or when it is reasonably               detention shall be decided speedily by a court       are suspected of committing a crime;                      under Article 5, including some against
            considered necessary to prevent his               and his release ordered if the detention is not                                                                Ireland. The European Court of Human Rights
            committing an offence or fleeing after            lawful.                                            • to prevent you committing a crime or                      found in favour of an Irish person who was
            having done so;                                 5. Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or       leaving the country if you are a suspect;                 detained without trial for an indefinite period
        (d) the detention of a minor by lawful order           detention in contravention of the provisions of                                                               under Irish law. The Court also found against
             for the purpose of educational supervision        this article shall have an enforceable right to   • you are under 18 and you are detained in                  Ireland where a child who had not committed
             or his lawful detention for the purpose of        compensation.                                       order to receive educational supervision                  an offence was detained in St Patrick’s
             bringing him before the competent legal                                                               or to bring you before a court;                           Institution for young offenders.
             authority;
        (e) the lawful detention of persons for the                                                              • to prevent the spread of infectious diseases;
            prevention of the spreading of infectious                                                                                                                            Article 1 of Protocol 4 No one shall be
            diseases, of persons of unsound mind,                                                                • you are suffering from certain mental                         deprived of his liberty merely on the ground of
            alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants;                                                                illnesses;                                                    inability to fulfil a contractual obligation.
        (f) the lawful arrest or detention of a person
            to prevent his effecting an unauthorised                                                             • you are an alcoholic, a drug addict
            entry into the country or of a person against                                                          or a homeless person (in certain                          Under Article 1 of Protocol 4, you should not
            whom action is being taken with a view to                                                              circumstances);                                           be sent to prison only because you did not pay
            deportation or extradition.                                                                                                                                      a debt.
                                                                                                                 • you are trying to enter a country or cross
                                                                                                                   a border illegally;

                                                                                                                 • there is a deportation order or extradition
                                                                                                                   order against you, which means you must
                                                                                                                   leave the country.

10     IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                                  NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   11
RIGHT TO LIBERTY AND SECURITY                                                                                                  RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL
(cont.)                                                                                                                        (Article 6 and Articles 2— 4 of Protocol 7)

     Article 2 of Protocol 4                               Protocol 4 also deals with free movement.                             Article 6                                                          You have the right to a fair and public hearing
     1. Everyone lawfully within the territory             If you are lawfully in a country, you have the                        1. In the determination of his civil rights and                    within a reasonable period of time. This applies
        of a State shall, within that territory,           right to go where you want and to live where                             obligations or of any criminal charge against                   to criminal and civil cases, including social
        have the right to liberty of movement              you want within that country.                                            him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public                  welfare hearings.
        and freedom to choose his residence.                                                                                        hearing within a reasonable time by an
     2. Everyone shall be free to leave any                If you are a national of a country, you cannot                           independent and impartial tribunal established                  Article 6 protects your right to legal aid in
        country, including his own.                        be made to leave the country or banned from                              by law. Judgement shall be pronounced publicly                  certain circumstances. For example in an Irish
     3. No restrictions shall be placed on the             entering it.                                                             but the press and public may be excluded from                   case, the European Court of Human Rights
        exercise of these rights other than such as                                                                                 all or part of the trial in the interests of morals,            found that a person’s rights were violated
        are in accordance with law and are necessary       The European Court of Human Rights has                                   public order or national security in a democratic               because there was no legal aid for marital
        in a democratic society in the interests           found that the right to freedom of movement                              society, where the interests of juveniles or the                separation cases.
        of national security or public safety, for         under Article 2 of Protocol 4 was violated                               protection of the private life of the parties so
        the maintenance of order public, for the           where:                                                                   require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the             Under the right to a fair trial:
        prevention of crime, for the protection                                                                                     opinion of the court in special circumstances                   • you have the right to a fair chance to present
        of health or morals, or for the protection         • restrictions were placed on the movements                              where publicity would prejudice the interests of                  your case;
        of the rights and freedoms of others.                of people from one ethnic group who were                               justice.
     4. The rights set forth in paragraph 1 may also         lawfully present in the country;                                    2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence                        • your case must be heard before an
        be subject, in particular areas, to restrictions                                                                            shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty                    independent and impartial court or tribunal;
        imposed in accordance with law and justified       • a passport was confiscated and not                                     according to law.
        by the public interest in a democratic society.      returned for two years.                                             3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has                    • your case must be heard in a reasonable
                                                                                                                                    the following minimum rights:                                     time;
                                                                                                                                    (a) to be informed promptly, in a language which
     Article 3 of Protocol 4                                Wintertwerp v The Netherlands (1979)                                        he understands and in detail, of the nature                 • your case must be heard in public (with
     1. No one shall be expelled, by means either           Mr Frits Winterwerp, a Netherlands citizen, was committed to a              and cause of the accusation against him;                      some exceptions, for example family law
        of an individual or of a collective measure,        psychiatric hospital in 1968 by local authorities. The committal        (b) to have adequate time and facilities for the                  cases);
        from the territory of the State of which he         was renewed at the request of his wife and then from year to                preparation of his defence;
         is a national.                                     year based on medical reports from his doctors. Mr Winterwerp           (c) to defend himself in person or through                      • you have the right to be presumed innocent
     2. No one shall be deprived of the right to            was not properly informed of these decisions, and the public                legal assistance of his own choosing or, if                   unless proved to be guilty;
        enter the territory of the State of which he        prosecutor rejected his numerous requests to be discharged                  he has not sufficient means to pay for legal
        is a national.                                      without referring them to a court. The European Court of Human              assistance, to be given it free when the                    • you have the right not to incriminate yourself;
                                                            Rights judged that Mr Winterwerp was deprived of his liberty                interests of justice so require;
                                                            without the right to proper court proceedings, in violation of          (d) to examine or have examined witnesses                       • you have the right to be informed of any
                                                            Articles 5 and 6 (see Article 6 below).                                     against him and to obtain the attendance                      charge in a language that you understand;
                                                                                                                                        and examination of witnesses on his behalf
                                                                                                                                        under the same conditions as witnesses                      • you have the right to time to prepare your
                                                                                                                                        against him;                                                  defence;
                                                                                                                                    (e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter
                                                                                                                                        if he cannot understand or speak the                        • you have the right to defend yourself
                                                                                                                                        language used in court.                                       personally or through a lawyer;

12    IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                                                         NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   13
RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL
(cont.)

• you have the right to be provided, free of
  charge, with an interpreter who speaks your
  language;

• you have the right to cross-examine
  witnesses.

The European Court of Human Rights has                                                                                                                     Under Article 4 of Protocol 7, you should not         Airey v Ireland (1979)
decided many cases under Article 6 and found                                                                                                               be tried again for the same offence unless new        For 8 years, Mrs Johanna Airey had been trying to get a judicial
that the right to a fair trial was violated where:                                                                                                         facts are discovered or there was a serious           separation from her husband but could not afford a solicitor.
                                                                                                                                                           problem with the previous trial.                      The legal aid available in Ireland at the time would not cover
• a person was convicted for refusing to                                                                                                                                                                         judicial separation cases. She claimed a breach of her right
  answer questions by the police;                                                                                                                          The European Court of Human Rights has                to a fair trial under Article 6 of the ECHR, as she could not get
                                                                                                                                                           found that the right to a fair trial under            access to the court. In part because of the personal nature of
• a judge made statements to the press                                                                                                                     Protocol 7 was violated when a person was             the case, the Court decided that Mrs Airey should not have to
  which affected a person’s right to be                                                                                                                    re-tried because the police had not carried           represent herself and should be given free legal assistance.
  presumed innocent;                                                                               Article 2 of Protocol 7 gives you the right             out the investigation properly the first time.
                                                                                                   to appeal (except in some minor cases).
• statements taken through torture were                                                                                                                                                                          Salduz v Turkey (2008)
  used in court;                                                                                   Article 3 of Protocol 7 gives you the right                                                                   In 2001 Mr Yusuf Salduz, then 16 years old, was taken into
                                                                                                   to be compensated if you have been wrongly                                                                    custody by police officers from the İzmir Security Directorate
• children were not able to take part                                                              convicted of a crime due to a miscarriage                Article 4 of Protocol 7                              on suspicion of taking part in an unlawful demonstration
  effectively in their own trial.                                                                  of justice.                                              1. No one shall be liable to be tried or punished    in support of a banned organisation. He was denied access
                                                                                                                                                               again in criminal proceedings under the           to a lawyer while being questioned by the police, which was
                                                                                                                                                               jurisdiction of the same State for an offence     standard practice in Turkey at the time. He gave a statement
     Article 2 of Protocol 7                                                                           Article 3 of Protocol 7                                 for which he has already been finally acquitted   saying that he had hung an illegal banner and taken part in the
     1. Everyone convicted of a criminal offence by                                                    When a person has by a final decision been              or convicted in accordance with the law and       demonstration but later withdrew it, claiming that the police
        a tribunal shall have the right to have his                                                    convicted of a criminal offence and when                penal procedure of that State.                    had pressured him into making it. He was convicted anyway
        conviction or sentence reviewed by a higher                                                    subsequently his conviction has been reversed,       2. The provisions of the preceding paragraph         and the Turkish Courts rejected his subsequent appeals. In
        tribunal. The exercise of this right, including                                                or he has been pardoned, on the ground that a           shall not prevent the reopening of the case in    2008, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a person’s
        the grounds on which it may be exercised, shall                                                new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively         accordance with the law and penal procedure       right to a fair trial can be damaged beyond repair if a lawyer
        be governed by law.                                                                            that there has been a miscarriage of justice,           of the State concerned, if there is evidence of   is not present when he or she is questioned by the police. The
     2. This right may be subject to exceptions in                                                     the person who has suffered punishment as a             new or newly discovered facts, or if there has    Court stated that there were no exceptional circumstances
        regard to offences of a minor character, as                                                    result of such conviction shall be compensated          been a fundamental defect in the previous         to excuse the fact that Mr Salduz had been denied access to
        prescribed by law, or in cases in which the                                                    according to the law or the practice of the State       proceedings, which could affect the outcome       a lawyer while being questioned. This had seriously damaged
        person concerned was tried in the first instance                                               concerned, unless it is proved that the non-            of the case.                                      his defence case, particularly as he was a minor at the time.
        by the highest tribunal or was convicted                                                       disclosure of the unknown fact in time is wholly     3. No derogation from this Article shall be made     The Court therefore found that Turkey had violated Mr Salduz’s
        following an appeal against acquittal.                                                         or partly attributable to him.                          under Article 15 of the Convention.               right to a fair trial.


14    NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.                                                                                                                                    IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010   15
RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND FAMILY LIFE                                                                                                                                                                                          RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF THOUGHT
(Article 8)                                                                                                                                                                                                               (Article 9 )

     Article 8                                                                                     Where the government restricts these               Norris v Ireland (1988)                                                 Article 9
     1. Everyone has the right to respect for his                                                  rights, the restriction must be necessary          Mr (now Senator) David Norris complained to the Irish High              1. Everyone has the right to freedom of
        private and family life, his home and his                                                  and proportionate. For example, the                Court (and then the Supreme Court) that the criminalisation                thought, conscience and religion; this right
        correspondence.                                                                            European Court of Human Rights found that          of homosexual relations under Irish law interfered with his                includes freedom to change his religion
     2. There shall be no interference by a public                                                 it is acceptable to keep a DNA database to         right to private life under Article 8 of the ECHR. The Irish               or belief and freedom, either alone or in
        authority with the exercise of this right                                                  solve crime, but it was not proportionate to       government argued that there was little risk of Mr Norris                  community with others and in public or
        except such as is in accordance with the law                                               keep the DNA records forever. The Court            being prosecuted (nobody was ever really prosecuted for this               private, to manifest his religion or belief, in
        and is necessary in a democratic society                                                   found that the DNA records should be kept          offence). However, the Court followed its earlier judgment                 worship, teaching, practice and observance.
        in the interests of national security, public                                              for a shorter, definite period of time.            in a case about a similar law in Northern Ireland (Dudgeon v            2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs
        safety or the economic well-being of the                                                                                                      United Kingdom) and decided that Mr Norris’ right to private               shall be subject only to such limitations as
        country, for the prevention of disorder or                                                 In certain circumstances, the government           life had been breached. In 1993, homosexuality ceased to be                are prescribed by law and are necessary
        crime, for the protection of health or morals,                                             must take positive steps to protect the right      a crime under the law of Ireland.                                          in a democratic society in the interests of
        or for the protection of the rights and                                                    to privacy, for example to allow sexual                                                                                       public safety, for the protection of public
        freedoms of others.                                                                        assault cases to be heard in private or make       Halford v United Kingdom (1997)                                            order, health or morals, or for the protection
                                                                                                   it a criminal offence to open a person’s mail.     Ms Alison Halford was an Assistant Chief Constable of the                  of the rights and freedoms of others.
                                                                                                                                                      Merseyside Police and the most senior female police officer
You have the right to respect for your private                                                     The Court has defined family life in               in the United Kingdom. When she took a case against her
and family life, home and correspondence.                                                          broad terms so that it is not just a               employers for discrimination, she found that all the calls          You have the right to hold your own views,
                                                                                                   family based on marriage. It includes              she made from her office phone had been monitored by her            thoughts and beliefs. You have the right to
This is a qualified right, which means that                                                        grandparents, uncles, aunts, non-married           employer, without her knowledge or permission, in order to get      follow a religious faith.
it can be restricted by law for the following                                                      couples and same-sex couples.                      information to use against her in her discrimination case. The
reasons:                                                                                                                                              European Court of Human Rights found that her right to privacy      This is a qualified right, which means that
                                                                                                   The European Court of Human Rights has             had been violated, as she could expect to have privacy when         it can be restricted by law for the following
• national security;                                                                               decided many cases under Article 8 and has         making phone calls from her office. If she had been warned          reasons:
                                                                                                   found the right to private and family life was     that her calls were being monitored, then it is possible that the
• public safety;                                                                                   violated where:                                    Court would not have found a breach of privacy.                     •   national security;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          •   public safety;
• economic well-being;                                                                             • homosexual people were dismissed from                                                                                •   economic well-being;
                                                                                                     the armed forces after an investigation into                                                                         •   to prevent crime or disorder;
• to prevent crime or disorder;                                                                      their private lives;                                                                                                 •   to protect health or morals; or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          •   to protect the rights and freedoms
• to protect health or morals; or                                                                  • the police carried out unlawful surveillance;                                                                            of other people.

• to protect the rights and freedoms of other                                                      • it was possible to put a child up for adoption                                                                       Where the government restricts these
  people.                                                                                            without the consent of the father if he was                                                                          rights, the restriction must be necessary
                                                                                                     not married to the mother.                                                                                           and proportionate.




16    NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.                                                                                                                                          IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010   17
RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF THOUGHT                                              RIGHT TO FREEDOM
(cont.)                                                                  OF EXPRESSION (Article 10)

The European Court of Human Rights has                                    Article 10                                              You have the right to hold opinions and to                 The Court has found that the right to freedom
found that the right to freedom of religion                               1. Everyone has the right to freedom of                 express your views on your own or as part                  of expression was violated where:
was violated where:                                                          expression. This right shall include freedom         of a group. This applies even if the views are
                                                                             to hold opinions and to receive and impart           unpopular or disturbing.                                   • companies were banned from giving
• members of Parliament had to swear a                                       information and ideas without interference by                                                                     pregnant women information about
  religous oath;                                                             public authority and regardless of frontiers.        This is a qualified right, which means that                  abortion services abroad;
                                                                             This article shall not prevent States from           it can be restricted by law for the following
• a person of the Jehovah’s Witness faith                                    requiring the licensing of broadcasting,             reasons:                                                   • a journalist was ordered to disclose his
  was excluded from a profession because                                     television or cinema enterprises.                                                                                 sources;
  they had refused to take part in military                               2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it             • national security;
  service;                                                                   carries with it duties and responsibilities, may                                                                • a journalist was convicted for enabling a
                                                                             be subject to such formalities, conditions,          • territorial integrity (to protect borders) or              group of people to make racist remarks.
• a person lost their job because of their                                   restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by         public safety;
  religious beliefs.                                                         law and are necessary in a democratic society,
                                                                             in the interests of national security, territorial   • to prevent crime or disorder;
                                                                             integrity or public safety, for the prevention
     Buscarini and Others v San Marino (1999)                                of disorder or crime, for the protection of          • to protect health or morals;                                Open Door Counselling Ltd & Dublin Well
     Mr Cristoforo Buscarini, Mr Emilio Della Balda and Mr Dario             health or morals, for the protection of the                                                                        Woman Centre Ltd v Ireland (1992)
     Manzaroli were elected to the San Marino Grand Council                  reputation or rights of others, for preventing       • to protect the rights and freedoms of other                 Open Door Counselling and the Dublin Well Woman Centre were
     (Parliament) in 1993. They were required by the Elections Act           the disclosure of information received in              people;                                                     prevented from providing information to pregnant women about
     to swear a religous oath before taking office. They requested           confidence, or for maintaining the authority                                                                       abortion clinics in the United Kingdom under an Irish High Court
     permission to take a non-religous oath and signed an oath that          and impartiality of the judiciary.                   • to prevent information received in                          injunction. The European Court of Human Rights found that it
     did not mention religion. The Grand Council declared this oath                                                                 confidence from being disclosed;                            was not proportionate for the Irish government to prevent the
     invalid and the men were forced to choose between taking                                                                                                                                   organisations from providing information about abortion. The
     the oath against their own beliefs or giving up their elected                                                                • to make sure judges stay impartial (for                     Court made this decision for a number of reasons.
     seats. They eventually took the religious oath but complained                                                                  example to stop judges commenting
     that their right to freedom of religion had been infringed. The                                                                publicly on a case they are hearing).                       • It was not illegal for Irish women to have abortions abroad.
     European Court of Human Rights stated that freedom of religion
     included the freedom not to hold religious beliefs. It ruled that                                                            Where the government restricts these                          • The injunction did not take into account the individual
     forcing the men to take a religious oath was not necessary in a                                                              rights, the restriction must be necessary                       circumstances of women who would be seeking the
     democratic society and so San Marino had violated Article 9.                                                                 and proportionate.                                              information.

                                                                                                                                  Article 10 protects the right of newspapers                   • Failing to provide information about abortion could have a
                                                                                                                                  and other media to publish or broadcast news                    damaging effect on women’s health.
                                                                                                                                  stories. The European Court of Human Rights
                                                                                                                                  has found that the public interest is best                    The Court ruled that Ireland had violated Article 10.
                                                                                                                                  served by making sure the public has wide
                                                                                                                                  information.


18     IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                                                  NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   19
RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE AND ASSOCIATE                                                                                                 RIGHT TO MARRY AND EQUALITY
(Article 11)                                                                                                                    BETWEEN SPOUSES
                                                                                                                                (Article 12 and Article 5 of Protocol 7)
    Article 11                                             proportionate. A government may be justified                           Article 12                                                               Under Protocol 7 there must be equality
    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful       in banning an assembly where there is a real                           Men and women of marriageable age have the                               between husband and wife in relation to their
       assembly and to freedom of association with         threat to public order and safety. However,                            right to marry and to found a family, according                          marriage and children. This includes any
       others, including the right to form and to join     it must take positive steps to protect people                          to the national laws governing the exercise of                           private arrangements in relation to custody
       trade unions for the protection of his interests.   who are protesting or gathering and to                                 this right.                                                              or access.
    2. No restrictions shall be placed on the              facilitate the assembly. This does not mean
       exercise of these rights other than such as         that the government has to make sure it runs                                                                                                    The European Court of Human Rights has
       are prescribed by law and are necessary in a        smoothly. For more details on public order                             Article 5 of Protocol 7                                                  found that the right to marry was violated
       democratic society in the interests of national     and assembly, see the Know Your Rights pack                            Spouses shall enjoy equality of rights and                               where:
       security or public safety, for the prevention of    on Criminal Justice and Garda Powers at                                responsibilities of a private law character
       disorder or crime, for the protection of health     www.knowyourrights.ie.                                                 between them, and in their relations with their                          • transsexual people were not allowed to
       or morals or for the protection of the rights                                                                              children, as to marriage, during marriage and in                           marry;
       and freedoms of others. This article shall not      The right to association involves a more                               the event of its dissolution. This Article shall not
       prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions       formal and organised relationship and                                  prevent States from taking such measures as                              • the spouse who was considered
       on the exercise of these rights by members          includes the right to join a trade union.                              are necessary in the interests of the children.                            responsible for the marriage breakdown
       of the armed forces, of the police or of the        The European Court of Human Rights                                                                                                                was not allowed to remarry after divorce;
       administration of the State.                        has found that the right to assemble and
                                                           associate was violated where:                                        Men and women have the right to marry                                      • a father-in-law and daughter-in-law were
You have the right to assemble (gather                                                                                          and have a family. At the moment, this right                                 not allowed to marry each other if either of
together) with other people in a peaceful way.             • a mayor refused permission for meetings                            still only protects marriage between a man                                   their former spouses were still alive.
You have the right to associate with other                   and a march to protest against homophobia;                         and woman. Irish law can set out the rules
people by, for example, joining a trade union.                                                                                  for marriage, such as at what age it can
The right to assembly covers private meetings              • workers were made to join a trade union as                         take place.
and gatherings in a public place.                            a condition of employment.
                                                                                                                                The right to marry under Article 12 does
This is a qualified right, which means that                 Young, James and Webster v                                          not guarantee the right to divorce or remarry.
it can be restricted by law for the following               United Kingdom (1981)                                               However, Protocol 7 refers to the breakup
reasons:                                                    Mr Ian McLean Young, Mr Noël Henry James and Mr Ronald              of marriage.
                                                            Roger Webster were employees of British Rail. In 1975, a ‘closed
•   national security;                                      shop’ agreement with British Rail meant that employees were          Johnston and others v Ireland (1986)
•   public safety;                                          required to be members of one of three agreed trade unions.          Before divorce was legal in Ireland, Mr Roy and Mrs Janice
•   to prevent crime or disorder;                           The men refused to join any of the trade unions for reasons of       Johnston brought a case to the European Court of Human
•   to protect health or morals; and                        personal choice, conscience and political belief. As a result, in    Rights claiming that they had a right to divorce under Article
•   to protect the rights and freedoms of other             1976 they were dismissed from their jobs. The European Court         12 of the ECHR, which provides for the right to marry. The
    people.                                                 of Human Rights ruled that the United Kingdom violated the           Johnstons claimed that having a right to marry under the
                                                            applicants’ Article 11 rights by allowing them to be forced to       Convention meant that they also had a corresponding right to
Where the government restricts these rights,                choose between their jobs or joining an organisation that they       divorce. The Court rejected the Johnstons’ claim because the
this restriction must be necessary and                      did not support.                                                     right to divorce is not clearly stated in Article 12.


20 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                                                                    NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   21
RIGHT TO AN EFFECTIVE REMEDY                                                                                                                                           FREEDOM FROM DISCRIMINATION
(Article 13)                                                                                                                                                           (Article 14)

   Article 13                                                                                   The European Court of Human Rights has                                     Article 14                                         There is a general duty of non-discrimination
   Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set                                                    found that the right to an effective remedy                                The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms           under Protocol 12 to the ECHR. However,
   forth in this Convention are violated shall                                                  was violated where:                                                        set forth in this Convention shall be secured      Ireland has not yet signed up to this Protocol,
   have an effective remedy before a national                                                                                                                              without discrimination on any ground such as       so the government is not yet legally bound to
   authority notwithstanding that the violation                                                 • the time taken for a case to be heard                                    sex, race, colour, language, religion, political   respect this right.
   has been committed by persons acting in an                                                     in court was too long;                                                   or other opinion, national or social origin,
   official capacity.                                                                                                                                                      association with a national minority, property,    The European Court of Human Rights
                                                                                                • a prisoner was unable to challenge                                       birth or other status.                             has found that the right to freedom from
                                                                                                  the Prison Governor’s refusal to forward                                                                                    discrimination was violated where:
You are entitled to a remedy if your rights                                                       his mail.                                                            You have the right to be treated equally
have been interfered with in an unfair way,                                                                                                                            when exercising your rights under the ECHR.            • foreign nationals were refused permission
even if it is allowed under Irish law. This                                                                                                                            In particular, you must not be treated any               to remain with or join their spouses;
means that you have the right to make a                                                            Aydın v Turkey (1998)                                               differently because of your:
complaint and have your complaint dealt                                                            In 1993, Ms Şükran Aydın, a 17 year old woman from south east                                                              • a government failed to effectively
with effectively.                                                                                  Turkey, was arrested along with other members of her family by      •   sex;                                                 investigate a racist attack on a member of
                                                                                                   the local gendarmerie (police), on suspicion of involvement with    •   race;                                                the Roma community.
Often when the European Court of Human                                                             terrorism. In custody, Ms Aydın suffered several hours of violent   •   skin colour;
Rights finds that another right in the ECHR                                                        physical assaults, including rape. Following her detention, Ms      •   language;
has been violated, it will find that Article 13                                                    Aydın and her family complained about her treatment, but            •   religion;
has been violated as well. For example, the                                                        no member of the security forces was tried or convicted. As         •   political opinion or other opinion;
Court found that a woman’s right to privacy                                                        well as finding Turkey in violation of Article 3 (freedom from      •   nationality;
was violated when her employer had tapped                                                          torture), the European Court of Human Rights also found Turkey      •   minority status;
her phone. The Court also found that her right                                                     in violation of Article 13 for failing to properly investigate Ms   •   property; or                                        Cobzaru v Romania (2007)
to an effective remedy was violated, as she                                                        Aydin’s serious claims of rape and torture by the officers.         •   birth.                                              Mr Belmondo Cobzaru is a Romanian national of Roma ethnicity.
had no way to make a complaint about this.                                                                                                                                                                                     On 4 July 1997, Mr Cobzaru presented himself to the local police
                                                                                                                                                                       The Court may also consider other grounds of            station in the town of Mangalia to report an attempted assault.
                                                                                                                                                                       discrimination, such as age.                            In the station, police officers punched, kicked and beat him with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               a stick, causing extensive head injuries. He later complained
                                                                                                                                                                       If the government treats you differently to             about the officers to the head of the police department, to
                                                                                                                                                                       someone else in a similar situation, there              the Department for National Minorities and to the Military
                                                                                                                                                                       must be a reasonable explanation for this.              Prosecutor. The Military Prosecutor dismissed his complaints,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and his appeals, suggesting that he was unreliable due to his
                                                                                                                                                                       To make a complaint under Article 14,                   ‘gypsy’ ethnicity. The European Court of Human Rights found
                                                                                                                                                                       you must have been discriminated against                Romania in violation of Articles 3 (freedom from torture) and 13
                                                                                                                                                                       while you exercised another right under the             (effective remedy). Since the authorities’ failure to open criminal
                                                                                                                                                                       ECHR. For example, you cannot claim to be               proceedings and properly investigate the assault was influenced
                                                                                                                                                                       discriminated against in accessing health               by ethnic discrimination, the Court also found Romania in
                                                                                                                                                                       services, as there is no right to health under          violation of Article 14.
                                                                                                                                                                       the ECHR.

22 NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.                                                                                                                                                      IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010   23
RIGHT TO PROPERTY                                                                                                                                                        RIGHT TO EDUCATION
(Article 1 of Protocol 1)                                                                                                                                                (Article 2 of Protocol 1)

     Article 1 of Protocol 1                                                                      The Court has found that the right to                                   Article 2 of Protocol 1                             The European Court of Human Rights has
     Every natural or legal person is entitled to                                                 property was violated where:                                            No person shall be denied the right to              found that the right to education was violated
     the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions.                                                                                                                           education. In the exercise of any functions         where:
     No one shall be deprived of his possessions                                                  • landowners were forced to allow hunting                               which it assumes in relation to education and
     except in the public interest and subject to                                                   on their property;                                                    to teaching, the State shall respect the right of   • a pupil was suspended because he refused
     the conditions provided for by law and by the                                                                                                                        parents to ensure such education and teaching         to accept corporal punishment;
     general principles of international law. The                                                 • a woman could not get on to her property                              in conformity with their own religious and
     preceding provisions shall not, however, in any                                                because the army of another Council of                                philosophical convictions.                          • a pupil was made to take part in religious
     way impair the right of a State to enforce such                                                Europe State occupied the territory on                                                                                      and philosophical classes.
     laws as it deems necessary to control the use                                                  which it was built.
     of property in accordance with the general                                                                                                                          You have the right to access the education
     interest or to secure the payment of taxes or                                                   Pye (Oxford) Ltd v                                                  system. Parents have a right to education             Campbell and Cosans
     other contributions or penalties.                                                               United Kingdom (2007)                                               for their children that supports their own             v United Kingdom (1982)
                                                                                                     JA Pye (Oxford) Ltd was an English company that owned               religious and philosophical beliefs.                  Mrs Jane Cosans’ son Jeffrey was suspended from his school
                                                                                                     farmland in Berkshire. From 1983 to 1999, the Graham family                                                               in 1976 for refusing to accept corporal punishment (a lash
You have the right to enjoy your property and                                                        used the land for grazing their animals. At first the family made   The government cannot interfere with                  across the palm with a leather belt) after breaking school rules.
possessions.                                                                                         payments to Pye Ltd for the grass grazed, but the company           your right to access education. However,              The school offered to drop the punishment and suspension
                                                                                                     ignored their later requests for formal grazing arrangements.       the government does not have to provide               as long as he would agree to follow school rules in future.
This is a limited right and governments                                                              The Graham family continued to use the land for grazing and in      certain types of education or guarantee               Mrs Cosans insisted that her son should not be subjected to
can make laws that control how you use                                                               1997 applied to the courts to be registered as owners of the land   that you receive the education you want               corporal punishment while a pupil at the school. The school
your property, such as planning laws and                                                             under the doctrine of adverse possession (squatters’ rights). The   for your children.                                    continued the suspension, warning Mrs Cosans that she
compulsory purchase orders. This may also                                                            case went all the way to the House of Lords, where it was ruled                                                           might be prosecuted for failure to ensure her son’s school
include taxes and contributions to a social                                                          that the Grahams now had a right to the land. Pye Ltd took the                                                            attendance. The European Court of Human Rights found the
welfare scheme.                                                                                      case to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that its                                                              United Kingdom in breach of Article 2 of Protocol 1. It found
                                                                                                     right to property under Article 1, Protocol 1 had been violated.                                                          that Jeffrey’s suspension denied him his right to an education,
The right to property does not mean that you                                                         However, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that there                                                              while the school’s policy denied Mrs Cosans’ right to have her
have a right to get property, for example to                                                         was no violation since the rules on squatters’ rights were clear                                                          son educated in a way that respected her objection to corporal
inherit it.                                                                                          and Pye Ltd had had ample opportunity (12 years) to come to an                                                            punishment.
                                                                                                     arrangement with the Grahams.
If the government has taken your property
or limited your use of it, you may be
compensated.

The European Court of Human Rights
will look at your right to property and the
interests of the community as a whole, for
example in relation to government control
over the use of land.


24    NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.                                                                                                                                                  IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010   25
RIGHT TO FREE ELECTIONS                                                                                                      SAFEGUARDS FOR EXPULSIONS
(Article 3 of Protocol 1)                                                                                                    (Article 1 of Protocol 7, Article 4 of Protocol 4)

   Article 3 of Protocol 1                            Under the right to free elections, the                                  Article 1 of Protocol 7                                       These safeguards protect a person who is
   The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold     government must take active steps to                                    1. An alien lawfully resident in the territory                not a national of the country but who lives
   free elections at reasonable intervals by secret   ensure that elections are fair.                                            of a State shall not be expelled therefrom                 there legally, from being forced to leave.
   ballot, under conditions which will ensure the                                                                                except in pursuance of a decision reached in               You have the right to argue against being
   free expression of the opinion of the people in    The European Court of Human Rights has                                     accordance with law and shall be allowed:                  expelled and to have your case reviewed.
   the choice of the legislature.                     found that the right to free elections was                                 (a) to submit reasons against his expulsion,
                                                      violated where:                                                            (b) to have his case reviewed, and                         The government can expel you directly if
                                                                                                                                 (c) to be represented for these purposes                   it is necessary for public order or national
Elections for a legislative body, such as             • people living in an overseas territory of                                    before the competent authority or a person             security.
Dáil Éireann and the European Parliament,               an EU state were not allowed to take part                                    or persons designated by that authority.
must be free and fair. The election must                in European Parliamentary elections;                                  2. An alien may be expelled before the exercise               The European Court of Human Rights found
take place by secret ballot (so your vote is                                                                                     of his rights under paragraph 1. a, b and c of             a violation of Article 4 of Protocol 4 when a
private).                                             • convicted prisoners were not allowed                                     this Article, when such expulsion is necessary             government expelled a group of Roma.
                                                        to vote.                                                                 in the interests of public order or is grounded
Some limits on this right are allowed,                                                                                           on reasons of national security.
for example the age at which people are
allowed to vote.

                                                        Matthews v United Kingdom (1999)                                      Article 4 of Protocol 4                                            Conka v. Belgium (2002)
                                                        Gibraltar is a small dependent territory of the United Kingdom        Collective expulsion of aliens is prohibited.                      Mr Ján Conka, Mrs Mária Conková, Miss Nad'a Conková
                                                        on a peninsula bordering the south of Spain. Many of its laws                                                                            and Miss Nikola Conková are Slovakian nationals of Roma
                                                        are informed by United Kingdom and European Union laws,                                                                                  origin who fled to Belgium in 1998 after suffering several
                                                        and its residents are entitled to British citizenship. In 1994, Ms                                                                       violent attacks and threats by skinheads. They applied
                                                        Denise Matthews, a British citizen and a resident of Gibraltar,                                                                          for asylum in Belgium but were refused. During their
                                                        applied at the local Electoral Registration Office to register                                                                           appeals they, along with other Roma asylum seekers,
                                                        as a voter in the European Parliament elections. She was                                                                                 were summoned to the Ghent police station ‘to enable
                                                        informed that regulations restricted the vote to the United                                                                              the files concerning their applications for asylum to be
                                                        Kingdom only, and did not include Gibraltar, so she took her                                                                             completed’. Shortly afterwards they were deported with
                                                        case to the European Court of Human Rights. The Court ruled                                                                              other asylum seekers to Slovakia. The deportation was
                                                        that the European Parliament is involved in legislation that                                                                             described by the Belgian Minister of the Interior as an
                                                        directly affects Gibraltar through its legal link to the United                                                                          operation of collective repatriation designed to tackle
                                                        Kingdom. Therefore, Gibraltar residents should be given a say                                                                            “the large concentration of asylum-seekers of Slovakian
                                                        through casting their vote in European Parliament elections.                                                                             nationality in Ghent”. The European Court of Human
                                                        The Court ruled that the United Kingdom’s failure to provide                                                                             Rights ruled that the Belgian government had organised a
                                                        for this was a violation of Gibraltarians’ rights under Article 3                                                                        collective expulsion without a reasonable examination of
                                                        of Protocol 1. Since this decision, Gibraltar has been included                                                                          the circumstances of each of the people involved, and that
                                                        in the South West England constituency for the European                                                                                  this violated Article 4 of Protocol 4.
                                                        Parliament elections.


26 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                                                     NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   27
EUROPEAN COURT OF
HUMAN RIGHTS
Where does the Court sit?                         In 1961, the first case ever to be heard before the   Chambers
The European Court of Human Rights sits in        European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg          Seven judges sit in each Chamber. These
Strasbourg, France.                               was an Irish one– Lawless v. Ireland. Mr Lawless      Chambers decide on admissibility and                        Can I take a case to the European
                                                  claimed his rights to liberty and fair trial under    also hear most of the cases that pass                       Court of Human Rights instead of
                                                  the ECHR were violated as he was detained             the admissibility test of a single judge or                 the courts in Ireland?
Why was the Court set up?                         without trial by the order of the Minister for        Committee (see p32 under the question
The European Court of Human Rights was            Justice. However, the Court accepted that             "What happens next, Admissibility").                        Generally, you cannot take a case directly
set up in 1959 to make sure that Council of       there was a public emergency (border bombing                                                                      to the European Court of Human Rights
Europe member states do all they should to        campaign) that justified his detention.               Grand Chamber                                               unless you have taken your case to all the
protect rights under the ECHR. This means                                                               The Grand Chamber sits with 17 judges,                      relevant courts in Ireland. This is called
that if you think your rights under the ECHR                                                            including the President of the Court and the                the ‘exhaustion of domestic remedies’. See
are not being protected by the government,                                                              Vice-Presidents. The Grand Chamber hears                    the section Taking a case to the European
you can ask the Court to examine your           Registry                                                cases in ‘special circumstances’.                           Court of Human Rights overleaf for more
situation and make a decision.                  Headed by a Registrar, the Registry is a                                                                            information.
                                                team of professional lawyers and support                • Chambers can pass a case to the
How many judges                                 staff who assist the Court in carrying out its            Grand Chamber because it raises a                         If you think that your rights under the ECHR
are on the Court?                               functions (hearing cases).                                serious question about how the ECHR is
                                                                                                          interpreted.
                                                                                                                                                                    may have been affected, you should contact
                                                                                                                                                                    a solicitor for advice. The contact details for
A judge from each country that has signed       Plenary Court                                                                                                       the Law Society of Ireland are available at
up to the ECHR sits on the Court.               The Plenary Court includes all judges. It               • A person taking a case can ask to appeal                  page 39.
                                                elects the President and Vice-Presidents of               a decision of a Chamber to the Grand
Since June 2010, judges can be elected for      the Court, and the Registrar, and agrees the              Chamber. The case must involve an                         How do the judgments of the
one nine year term. For judges who were
elected before June 2010, the term of office
                                                rules of procedure of the Court.                          issue of general importance (matter of
                                                                                                          public importance across the Council
                                                                                                                                                                    European Court of Human Rights
for a judge was six years and they could be     Committees                                                of Europe countries or in relation to
                                                                                                                                                                    apply in Ireland?
re-elected once. All judges must retire at      Three judges sit on a Committee. These                    the interpretation of the ECHR). The                      You can use your rights under the ECHR and
70 years of age.                                Committees decide on admissibility (see                   government can also appeal a decision                     the decisions made by the European Court
                                                p32 under the question "What happens                      of a Chamber to the Grand Chamber.                        of Human Rights when taking a case to the
What is the structure                           next, Admissibility"). This is called the                                                                           Irish courts. See the section European
of the Court?                                   admissibility test. In certain circumstances,
                                                Committees can decide the case without
                                                                                                        • The Council of Europe can ask for a legal
                                                                                                          opinion from the Grand Chamber.
                                                                                                                                                                    Convention on Human Rights Act 2003 on
                                                                                                                                                                    page 5 for more information.
The Court consists of a Registry, the Plenary   referring to the Court if there is well-
Court, the Grand Chamber of the Court, the      established case law. This happens when                                                                             However, the Irish courts do not always
Chambers of the Court and Committees.           similar cases have been heard before and the                                                                        accept ECHR arguments. If this happens
                                                Court’s findings on the issue are clear.                                                                            when you bring your case before the Irish
                                                                                                                                                                    courts, you may be able to take your case
                                                                                                                                                                    all the way to the European Court of Human
                                                                                                                                                                    Rights.

28 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                             NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   29
TAKING A CASE
TO THE EUROPEAN COURT
OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Who can take a case to the                       Do I need to be a citizen of Ireland               Who or what can                                          What do I include
European Court of Human Rights?                  or one of the other countries that                 I complain about?                                        in my application form?
You can make a complaint to the European
                                                 signed up to the ECHR?                             You can make a complaint about a                         You should try to fill in as much of the
Court of Human Rights if you have been           No, but the violation that you are complaining     government body, for example a local                     application form as you can. The Registry
personally and directly affected by a            about must have taken place within a country       authority, the Gardaí, the Health Service                may ask you for more information,
violation of an ECHR right. You cannot           that has signed up to the ECHR. It can also        Executive (HSE) or the Prison Service, if                explanations or documents. You should
make a general complaint about a law             apply to other countries and you can ask           you think that it has done something that                give the following information:
because, for example, you think it is unfair.    a solicitor about this. If you are not from        violates one of your ECHR rights. Sometimes,
You must be a victim of the government           Ireland but you live here, you can take a          a government body can violate the ECHR by                • your details and the details of your
failing to respect your ECHR rights.             case against Ireland to the European Court         failing to do something.                                   solicitor, if you have one;
                                                 of Human Rights.
If the government has interfered with the                                                           The Court cannot deal with complaints                    • the name of the state against which you are
rights of a member of your family and this
has affected you, you may also be able to
                                                 Do I have to do anything before                    against other people or private companies
                                                                                                    unless the state has failed to stop them from
                                                                                                                                                               taking the case, for example Ireland;

make a complaint to the European Court of
                                                 I take my case to the European                     interfering with your rights.                            • the facts of your case;
Human Rights.                                    Court of Human Rights?
                                                 Yes, you must try all the other remedies                                                                    • which articles of the ECHR you think
A company or organisation can also take a        available to you in Ireland. For example,                                                                     were violated;
case to the Court if it can show that it has     you should first make your complaint in            How can I make a complaint?
been a victim of the failure to respect rights   the Irish courts, and appeal as far as the         You can write directly to the Registry of the            • any decisions given by a court or other
protected by the ECHR.                           Supreme Court if you can. You should               Court, giving clear details of your complaint,             body in Ireland (including dates);
                                                 contact a solicitor for more advice about          at the following address:
                                                 this. The contact details for the Law Society                                                               • whether you could have appealed the
                                                 of Ireland are on page 39.                            The Registrar                                           decision and, if you chose not to, the
                                                                                                       European Court of Human Rights                          reasons why;
                                                 Can I take my case to the                             Council of Europe
                                                 European Court of Human Rights                        F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex
                                                                                                       FRANCE
                                                                                                                                                             • the reasons why you are applying to
                                                                                                                                                               the Court;
                                                 at any time?
                                                 You have only six months to take your case to      The Court will then send you an application              • a list of documents included in the
                                                 the European Court after the Irish courts have     form. You can also get this application form               application (photocopies, not originals); and
                                                 given you a final decision – that is, six months   on the website www.echr.coe.int under the
                                                 from the time when you cannot appeal your          heading Applicants and Application pack.                 • your signature, stating that the content
                                                 case to any other court in Ireland.                                                                           of the application is true.


30 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                      NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   31
What happens next?
(Also see flowchart on page 34)                                                                   need a solicitor. Your case will be dealt with            refund any expenses that you had in taking
Admissibility: Depending on the type of case,     Friendly settlement: The Court will             free of charge by the Court but if you ask a              the case.
a judge or Committee of the Court will look at    encourage you and the government to             solicitor to fill in the application or do other
your application to see whether it should be      reach an agreement.                             work, you will have to cover the cost yourself.           The Court will also order that the
admitted to the Court. They will be looking for                                                                                                             government takes steps to change the law
information on the following questions.           Decision on the merits: If you and the          Once the case is admissible and the                       or practice that affected your rights under
                                                  government do not reach an agreement, the       government has been informed, you should                  the ECHR. If the Court considers that you
• Are you personally and directly affected?       case will be given to a Chamber Court (or the   consider whether you should have a solicitor.             have not had a fair trial, it may suggest that
                                                  Grand Chamber in certain circumstances).        In general, the Court examines a case through             you should have a retrial.
• Does your complaint relate to a right           The Chamber Court will decide whether there     written documents. You may wish to have a
  protected under the ECHR?                       has been a violation of the ECHR or not.        solicitor write these for you. Bear in mind that          I have won my case at the
• Is your complaint against an official body?     Appeal to the Grand Chamber: You can ask
                                                                                                  the government will be using solicitors.
                                                                                                                                                            European Court of Human Rights,
                                                  for a judgment of a Chamber Court to be         Under the Rules of the Court, if there is a
                                                                                                                                                            but the law in Ireland hasn’t
• Have you tried to get a remedy through the      appealed to the Grand Chamber. The case         public hearing you can make arguments                     changed. Why is this?
  courts in Ireland?                              must involve an issue of general importance.    before the court yourself if you want to.                 The Court can order that the law is changed
                                                                                                  However, the Court recommends that you use                but once the order is made the Court’s work
• Have you complained about your rights                                                           a lawyer and provides a legal aid scheme for              is done and it closes the case. The Council
  under the ECHR when taking the case in          How long will I have to wait?                   people who cannot afford one. You should                  of Europe, in particular its Committee of
  Ireland?                                        There is a very large backlog of cases with     contact the Registry of the Court for details of          Ministers, is in charge of making sure that
                                                  the Court and you could be waiting up to a      this scheme. You will find the contact details            the Court’s judgments are followed by the
• Did you make the complaint to the Court         year to find out if your case is admissible.    on page 31.                                               government.
  within 6 months of the end of your case in      However, cases can be heard more quickly
  the Irish courts?                               if there is a threat of personal danger. You                                                              Sometimes it can take years for governments
                                                  should contact the Registry of the Court for    Will my case be heard in public?                          to make changes to the law. In this instance,
• Have you suffered a significant                 more information on the exact time periods.     In most cases, the judges will consider the               you should write regularly to your local TD
  disadvantage?                                                                                   information that has been given to them in                to seek the relevant change in the law. You
                                                  Are most cases considered                       writing and there is a public hearing in only a           can also write directly to the Committee of
Sometimes, a judge or Committee of the
Court will make a decision about your case
                                                  by the Court?                                   small number of cases. Some are broadcast
                                                                                                  live on the website www.echr.coe.int under
                                                                                                                                                            Ministers of the Council of Europe (contact
                                                                                                                                                            details on page 36) and to the “Execution
without referring it to the Court. If they        The Court’s judges or Committees consider       the heading Press, then on the left-hand                  of Judgments” section in the Directorate
decide your complaint is not admissible,          all the cases that are sent to the Court (see   menu, Multimedia and Webcasts of public                   General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs
the decision is final and you cannot appeal it.   admissibility). However, most cases do not      hearings.                                                 (contact details on page 36). Under the
Even if a judge or Committee decide that your     pass the admissibility stage.                                                                             European Convention on Human Rights Act
case is admissible, the Court always has the                                                      What will I get from the                                  2003 (see page 5), all judgments of the Court
option of deciding that it is inadmissible.
                                                  Can I represent myself                          Court if I win my case?                                   can be used in Irish courts.

Notification to government: If your case
                                                  or do I need a solicitor?                       If the Court finds in your favour, it may award
is admissible, the Court will inform the          At the beginning, before the Court has told     compensation (a sum of money) to you. The
government.                                       you that your case is admissible, you may not   Court may also order the government to

32 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                     NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   33
                                                                                                   TAKING YOUR CASE TO THE
                                                                                                        EUROPEAN COURT OF
  End of court cases in Ireland                                                                             HUMAN RIGHTS

                                               Yes, case is admissible                Committee judgment                                                 Committee of Ministers/
                        Within 6 months                                               The Committee can decide that:                                     countries oversee the
                                               Once a case is declared                                                                                   implementation of the
                                                                                      • There was a violation of the ECHR, or
                                               admissible, the case is passed                                                                            judgment
  Apply to the European Court                                                         • There was a partial violation of the ECHR, or
  of Human Rights                              to a Committee or to the
                                                                                      • There was no violation of the ECHR
                                               Chamber. This depends on
                                                                                      This judgment is final.
                                               what the case is about. In

                                               some cases, the case is sent

                                               straight to the Grand Chamber.
  Is the case admissible?                                                                                                                                     Grand Chamber
  This is decided either by a judge,                                                                                                                          final decision
  committee or chamber.                          Once the case is declared
                                                 admissible, the Court notifies       Chamber judgment
                                                 the government that a case has       The chamber can decide that:
                                                 been taken against it.
                                                                                      • There was a violation of the ECHR, or
                       No, not admissible
                                                                                      • There was a partial violation of the ECHR, or
                                                 Friendly settlement                                                                                         Appeal to
                                                 Once the case is declared            • There was no violation of the ECHR                                   Grand Chamber
   Case dismissed if                             admissible, Court officials
   deemed not admissible                         attempt to resolve it without a      The state or the applicant can appeal
   There is no appeal against this decision.     hearing. If this doesn’t work, the   this judgment if they are not satisfied.
                                                 case continues.




34 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                               NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   35
MORE INFORMATION                                                                                CONTACTS
The Convention and additional protocols        Council of Europe Committee of Ministers         ASYLUM SEEKERS & REFUGEES                                                                                  CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE
• You can find the full text of the ECHR and   The Committee of Ministers makes sure
  its additional protocols on the website of   that a Council of Europe member state            Irish Refugee Council                         Refugee Legal Services                                       Children’s Rights Alliance
  the European Court of Human Rights at        remedies a situation where a violation           This non-governmental organisation            This is a specialised office of the Legal                    The Children’s Rights Alliance is a coalition
  www.echr.coe.int under the heading Basic     has been found by the European Court of          advocates on behalf of refugees and           Aid Board. It provides confidential and                      of non-governmental organisations
  Texts. A simplified version of the ECHR is   Human Rights, for example by introducing         asylum seekers.                               independent legal services to people                         (NGOs) working to secure the rights of
  available under the heading The Court.       new administrative procedures or new                                                           applying for asylum and on immigration and                   children in Ireland by campaigning for
                                               laws. You can contact the Committee of           Second Floor, Ballast House                   deportation matters.                                         the implementation of the United Nations
Other useful texts available at                Ministers by email at cm@coe.int. The            Aston Quay, Dublin 2                                                                                       Convention on the Rights of the Child. You can
www.echr.coe.int under the heading             website of the Committee of Ministers is         Tel: 01 764 5854                              Dublin: 48/49 North Brunswick Street,                        contact the Alliance if you have any questions
Basic Texts                                    www.coe.int/T/CM/humanrights_en.asp.             Email: info@irishrefugeecouncil.ie            Georges Lane, Dublin 7                                       about your rights as a child or young person.
• Rules of Court                                                                                www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie                    Tel: 01 646 9600
                                               Information on the execution of judgments is                                                   Email: dublinrls@legalaidboard.ie                            4 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2
• Addendum to the Rules of the Court           available on this website: www.coe.int/t/dghl/   Integration Centre                                                                                         Tel: 01 662 9400
                                               monitoring/execution/default _EN.asp. You        Administration Office:                        Cork: North Quay House, Popes Quay, Cork                     Email: info@childrensrights.ie
• Practice directions                          can contact the Department for the Execution     This non-governmental organisation is         Tel: 021 455 4634                                            www.childrensrights.ie
                                               of Judgments using the information below:        a network of community and voluntary          Email: corkrls@legalaidboard.ie
• European agreement relating to persons                                                        groups working on achieving equality and                                                                   Office of the Ombudsman for Children
  participating in proceedings of the ECHR        Department for the Execution                  full integration in Irish society of asylum   Galway: Seville House,                                       This independent office works to protect
                                                  of Judgments of the ECHR                      seekers, refugees and immigrants.             New Dock Road, Galway                                        the rights and welfare of children and
• Pilot-judgment procedure                        Directorate General of Human Rights                                                         Tel: 091 562480                                              young people in Ireland. It also advises the
                                                  and Legal Affairs                             1st & 2nd Floors                              Email: rlsgalway@legalaidboard.ie                            government and handles complaints.
• Signatures and ratifications                    Council of Europe                             18 Dame Street
                                                  F-67075 STRASBOURG CEDEX                      Dublin 2                                      United Nations High Commissioner                             Millennium House
• Council of Europe Treaties                      FRANCE                                        Tel: 01 645 3070                              for Refugees (UNHCR) Office                                  52-56 Great Strand Street, Dublin 1
                                                                                                Email: info@integrationcentre.ie              This UN agency co-ordinates efforts to                       Tel: 01 865 6800 / Freephone: 1800 20 20 40
Other Useful links                                Tel: +33 3 90 21 55 54                        www.integrationcentre.ie                      protect refugees and resolve challenges                      Email: oco@oco.ie
• The 60th anniversary site of the ECHR:          Fax: +33 3 88 41 27 93                                                                      facing refugees.                                             www.oco.ie
  www.human-rights-convention.org                 E-mail: DGHL.Execution@coe.int                Galway Office:
                                                                                                Citizens Information Centre (CIC)             Merrion House , Suite 4                                      National Parents Council Post Primary
• Statute of the Council of Europe available                                                    Augustine House,                              1-3 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2                       This group represents parents with children
  on http://conventions.coe.int                                                                 St Augustine Street, Galway                   Tel: 01 631 4613                                             in secondary schools.
                                                                                                Tel: 091 532 850                              www.unhcr.ie
• Further European Court of Human Rights                                                        Email: infogalway@integrationcentre.ie                                                                     Unit 5, Glasnevin Business Centre
  case summaries can be found arranged                                                                                                                                                                     Ballyboggan Road, Dublin 11
  by theme in special ‘Factsheets’ on                                                                                                                                                                      Tel: 01 830 2740
  the Court’s website. Please visit:www.                                                                                                                                                                   Email: npcpp@eircom.net
  echr.coe.int/ECHR/EN/Header/Press/                                                                                                                                                                       www.npcpp.ie
  Information+sheets/Factsheets/

36 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                                   NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   37
CONTACTS
CRIMINAL JUSTICE                                                                                 EMPLOYMENT

An Garda Síochána                               Office of the Director of Public                 National Employment Rights Authority            Citizens Information Board                      Law Society of Ireland                                       Dublin Office:
The Irish police service                        Prosecutions (DPP)                               This organisation provides information to       This is a national agency which is              This is the representative and regulatory                    7 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2
                                                The DPP is in charge of prosecutions on          employees and employers on employment           responsible for giving information and          body for solicitors. If you are looking for                  Tel: 01 644 1900
Garda Headquarters                              behalf of the state and the people of Ireland.   rights and to ensure compliance with            advice on social services and money matters.    a solicitor or have a complaint about your                   www.legalaidboard.ie
Phoenix Park, Dublin                                                                             employment law.                                 It also provides advocacy services.             solicitor, you can contact the Law Society.
Tel: 01 666 0000                                14-16 Merrion Street, Dublin 2                                                                                                                                                                                Free Legal Advice Centres
Garda Confidential Line: 1 800 666 111          Tel: 01 678 9222                                 O’Brien Road, Carlow                            There are 106 citizens information centres      The Law Society, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7                   This non-governmental organisation works
Emergencies: 999                                www.dpp.ie                                       Tel: 059 917 8800                               and 162 outreach services which provide         Tel: 01 672 4800                                             towards achieving social justice. It also provides
www.garda.ie                                                                                     NERA Information Service                        information to people. You should call the      Email: general@lawsociety.ie                                 some basic, free legal services to the public.
                                                EMBASSIES                                        LoCall: 1890 80 80 90                           helpline or visit the website to find the one   www.lawsociety.ie
Courts Service of Ireland                                                                        www.employmentrights.ie                         closest to you. Information is available in                                                                  13 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin 1
The Courts Service manages the courts,          If you need to contact your embassy or                                                           person from the centres, by phone or on         European Court of Human Rights                               Information & Referral Line: 1890 350 250
including court facilities, maintains court     consular office in Ireland, the best thing to    GOVERNMENT                                      the website.                                    The European Court of Human Rights in                        Tel: 01 874 5690
buildings, provides support services for        do is to contact the Department of Foreign                                                                                                       Strasbourg hears cases taken by people                       www.flac.ie
judges and gives information on the court       Affairs where you will get information about     Department of Justice and Law Reform            LoCall: 1890 777 121                            who claim their rights under the European
system to the public.                           your embassy or consular office.                 This government department deals with a         www.citizensinformation.ie                      Convention on Human Rights have been                         IMMIGRATION
                                                                                                 broad range of issues such as criminal and                                                      affected.
15-24 Phoenix St. North, Smithfield, Dublin 7   Department of Foreign Affairs                    civil law reform, property issues, asylum and   Other government departments                                                                                 Immigrant Council of Ireland
Tel: 01 888 6000                                Consular Section                                 immigration.                                    To get information about other government       The Registrar, European Court of Human                       The Immigrant Council is a non-
www.courtsservice.ie                            69-71 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2                                                              departments, contact Citizens Information       Rights, Council of Europe                                    governmental organisation that promotes
                                                Tel: 01 408 2308 / 408 2585 / 408 2302           Pinebrook House, 71–74 Harcourt St., Dublin 2   Services. You can also find a list of all       F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex                                     the rights of migrants through information,
Garda Síochána Ombudman Commission                                                               Montague Court, Montague Street, Dublin 2       government departments and agencies on          France                                                       legal advice, advocacy, lobbying, research
The Commission deals with complaints made       For the Munster area:                            Tel: 01 602 8202 / LoCall: 1890 221 227         www.gov.ie.                                     Tel:+ 33 3 88 41 20 18                                       and training. The Council is also an
by the public about the conduct of Gardaí.      Consular Services, Dept. of Foreign Affairs      Email: info@justice.ie                                                                                                                                       independent law centre.
If you have a complaint to make against a       1A South Mall, Cork                              www.justice.ie                                  LEGAL MATTERS                                   Legal Aid Board
Garda, you should contact the Commission.       Tel: 021 494 4765 / 021 494 4766                                                                                                                 The board provides legal aid for people who                  2 St Andrew Street , Dublin 2
                                                www.dfa.ie                                       Department of Foreign Affairs                   Bar Council of Ireland                          cannot afford legal representation. The legal                Tel (admin): 01 674 0202
150 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1                                                                 This government department deals with           This is the representative and regulatory       aid is only for civil issues such as suing for               Email: admin@immigrantcouncil.ie
Tel: 01 871 6727 / LoCall: 1890 600 800                                                          diplomatic issues and Ireland’s interests       body for barristers. If you are looking for     personal injury or applying for asylum. The                  www.immigrantcouncil.ie
Email: info@gsoc.ie                                                                              abroad.                                         a barrister or have a complaint about your      board does not deal with criminal issues.
www.gsoc.ie                                                                                                                                      barrister, you can contact the Bar Council.                                                                  Department of Justice and Law Reform
                                                                                                 69-71 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2                                                             Head Office:                                                 Immigration matters on behalf of the
                                                                                                 Tel: 01 478 0822 / LoCall: 1890 426 700         Bar Council Administration Office               Quay Street, Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry                          Government are dealt with by the Irish
                                                                                                 www.dfa.ie                                      Four Courts, Dublin 7                           Tel: 066 947 1000                                            Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
                                                                                                                                                 Tel: 01 817 5000                                LoCall: 1890 615 200
                                                                                                                                                 Email: barcouncil@lawlibrary.ie                 Email: info@legalaidboard.ie
                                                                                                                                                 www.barcouncil.ie

38 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                                                                                      NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.   39
                                                                                                OTHER

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service     National Council for the Blind                 Equality Authority
13–14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2                       This organisation offers support and           This body works to prevent discrimination in
Tel: 01 616 7700 / LoCall: 1890 551 500          services nationwide to people experiencing     employment and access to a wide range of
www.justice.ie                                   difficulties with their eyesight.              goods and services.

PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY                         Whitworth Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9           Birchgrove House, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary
                                                 Tel: 01 830 7033 / LoCall: 1850 33 43 53
Inclusion Ireland                                Email: info@ncbi.ie                            Dublin office: 2 Clonmel Street, Dublin 2
Inclusion Ireland is a national voluntary        www.ncbi.ie                                    LoCall: 1890 245 545
organisation working to promote the rights                                                      Email: info@equality.ie
of people with an intellectual disability        PRISONS                                        www.equality.ie
in Ireland.
                                                 Irish Penal Reform Trust                       European Commission
Unit C2, The Steelworks, Foley St., Dublin 1     This organisation campaigns for the rights     Representation in Ireland
Tel: 01 855 9891                                 of people in prison and for prison reform.     This is the European Commission’s
Email: info@inclusionireland.ie                                                                 representative office in Ireland. It has a
www.inclusionireland.ie                          4th Floor, Equity House                        Public Information Centre in Dublin and EU
                                                 16-17 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7              information sources around the country.
National Disability Authority                    Tel: 01 874 1400
This is the state agency on disability issues.   Email: info@iprt.ie                            European Union House,
They provide advice to the government on         www.iprt.ie                                    18 Dawson St., Dublin 2
disability issues.                                                                              Tel: 01 634 1111
                                                 TRANSLATION &                                  E-mail: eu-ie-info-request@ec.europa.eu
25 Clyde Road, Dublin 4                          INTERPRETATION
Tel: 01 608 0400                                                                                Irish Human Rights Commission
Email: nda@nda.ie                                The Irish Translators’ & Interpreters’         The Commission works to ensure that the
www.nda.ie                                       Association                                    human rights of all people in Ireland are
                                                 This body represents translators and           respected.
Irish Deaf Society                               interpreters. If you are looking for a
This organisation provides support to people     translator or interpreter, you could contact   Fourth Floor, Jervis House
who have a hearing disability.                   them for advice.                               Jervis Street , Dublin 1
                                                                                                Tel: 01 858 9601
30 Blessington Street, Dublin 7                  c/o Irish Writers’ Centre                      Email: info@ihrc.ie
Tel: 01 860 1878                                 19 Parnell Square , Dublin 1                   www.ihrc.ie
Minicom: 01 860 1910 / SMS: 086 3807033          Tel: 087 673 8386 / 01 872 6282
Email: info@irishdeafsociety.ie                  www.translatorsassociation.ie                  DESIGNED AT WWW.DETAIL.IE

www.irishdeafsociety.ie

40 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010                                                                                                      NOTE: THIS PACK IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE   41
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:
The European Convention
on Human Rights in Ireland
This is the third in a series of packs designed to inform people about
their rights. The pack provides the public with information about
the rights and freedoms protected by the European Convention of
Human Rights (ECHR), Ireland’s 2003 European Convention on
Human Rights Act, and how to take a case to the European Court
of Human Rights. The pack has been written in everyday language
and we hope that you will find it informative and easy to use.

The packs are also available on our dedicated webpage,
www.knowyourrights.ie, which will be updated regularly as the
law changes. Details of the upcoming packs in the series will also
be available on the webpage.

The ICCL thanks the following individuals and organisations for their comments
on earlier drafts of the pack:
► Dr Fiona de Londras, Lecturer in Law, University College Dublin
► Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission
► Jo Kenny, Legal Officer, Public Interest Law Alliance
► Dr Ursula Kilkelly, Senior Lecturer in Law, University College Cork
► Michael Lynn BL
THE ICCL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ERRORS OR INACCURACIES.



Published by the
Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)
9-13 Blackhall Place
Dublin 7
T: +353-1-7994504
E: info@iccl.ie
www.iccl.ie


Statement of the law as of November 2010                  ISBN: 978-0-9544557-8-1




42 IRISH COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES 2010

								
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