The Law Society regularly publishes reports on areas of public interest and focuses, in particular, on those areas that would affect the community in general and would benefit from reform of the law.
The Law Society has produced a range of reports on the reform of specific areas of law and continues to monitor the relevant areas of law, makes submissions to Government Departments and policy makers, and assists with submissions on any new legislation.
The Human Rights Committee were involved in the following reports and submissions.
- Submission on the General Scheme of the International Protection Bill to the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality - May 2015
- Submission on the Legal Aspects of the Asylum Process to the Working Group on the Protection Process of the Department of Justice - February 2015
- Joint Submission of the Criminal Law Committee and the Human Rights Committee on the DNA Database Bill - March 2014
- Submission on the Proposed Gender Recognition Bill - December 2011
- Spent Convictions Scheme Report - this report was the result of research undertaken by the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society, in conjunction with Ballymun Community Law Centre, Ballymun Local Drugs Task Force, Business in the Community, Northside Community Law Centre and Northside Partnership. It was launched on 14th May, 2009 by Mr. John Lonergan, Governor of Mountjoy Prison. One of the recommendations of the report is that a spent convictions scheme should be available to all offenders, irrespective of the crime committed or the sentence imposed.
- 2015 Report on ECHR and EUCFR Irish case law - this report, sponsored by the Law Society Human Rights Committee and the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association, was launched in 2015 (first launched in 2006). Purchase the 2015 Report.
Human Rights Conferences
2015 Conference: 'Human Rights and the Media: Balancing Public and Private Interests'. This conference explored the interplay between freedom of expression and the right to privacy. The panel of speakers included The Honourable Mr. Justice Donald Binchy, Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons, and Olivia O’ Kane, Solicitor Advocate at Carson McDowell.
2014 Conference: 'Criminal Justice and Human Rights in Ireland‘. Speakers included Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, Fr Peter McVerry, SJ, Peter McVerry Trust and Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner, Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission.
2013 Conference: 'Challenges for Human Rights in 21st Century Ireland'. Themes included Impact of Austerity on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Balancing Freedom of Expression and Combating Hate Speech On-line, Reproductive Rights and Surrogacy, and Human Rights and End of Life Issues.
2012 Conference: 'Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in Ireland: The Role of the Irish Constitution and European Law'. See the 2012 conference programme.
Human Rights Annual Lectures
2015: The Annual Human Rights Lecture was given by the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly on 'Human Rights - an Ombudsman Perspective'.
2014: The Rt. Honourable Lady Hale, Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court, delivered a lecture entitled 'Freedom of Religion and Belief'.
2013: The Law Society welcomed President Michael D. Higgins as the guest speaker for the 2013 Annual Human Rights Lecture. The title of President Higgins' lecture was 'The Human Rights Discourse – Some issues of source and prospects for achievement'.
2012: The Law Society's 2012 Annual Human Rights Lecture, by the Rt. Honourable Sir Declan Morgan, Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, was on the changing relationship between the judiciary, the executive and the legislature in Northern Ireland following the incorporation of the European Convention of Human Rights into UK law. View the 2012 Lecture Paper.
For more information on the programmes and papers from these conferences, please contact the Society's Human Rights Committee.