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Top Australian Judge launches NGO human rights report

14th July 2008


Top Judge Spotlights UN role in Monitoring of Ireland's Rights Record

Press release, for immediate release

Dublin, 13 July 2008

One of Australia's top judges will spotlight the crucial human rights monitoring role of the United Nations at an event timed to coincide with Ireland's appearance before the United Nations Human Rights Committee tomorrow (14 July 2008).

Justice Michael Kirby of the Australian High Court will speak at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin on Monday 14 July 2008 at 10:30am. He will launch a new Shadow Report on Ireland's compliance with UN human rights standards, published by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres), and the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT).

The Shadow Report highlights significant gaps in Ireland's human rights performance, including as regards collusion in extraordinary rendition, the failure to provide for full equality for all families, poor conditions of detention in prisons, the persistence of imprisonment for debt, and the absence of universal child benefit.

The Shadow Report's key findings will also be presented directly to members of the UN Human Rights Committee by a delegation of Irish non-governmental organisations in Geneva tomorrow.

Members of the press and media wishing to attend the Dublin launch of the Shadow Report are invited to register their interest by email with:

Walter Jayawardene

Campaigns & Communications Officer

Irish Council for Civil Liberties

9-13 Blackhall Place

Dublin 7


Tel. + 353 1 799 4503

Mob: +353 87 9981574   

Fax. + 353 1 799 4501

E-mail  walter.jayawardene@iccl.ie

Web     www.iccl.ie

For full and constantly updated information on Ireland's examination in Geneva, please visit www.rightsmonitor.org


Justice Michael Kirby

Michael Donald Kirby was appointed to the High Court of Australia in February 1996. At the time of his appointment he was President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, having been appointed to that office in September 1984.

He was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1967. He was appointed a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in 1975. He served as first Chairperson of the Australian Law Reform Commission from 1975 to 1984. In 1983 he became a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, serving on that Court until 1984.

He has held numerous national and international positions including as President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands, as UN Special Representative in Cambodia and as President of the International Commission of Jurists. In 1991 he was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

The Shadow Report, a comprehensive and independent audit of the gaps in Ireland's compliance with the human rights standards laid out in the ICCPR, was jointly researched by ICCL, FLAC and IPRT, and has been further endorsed by 15 NGOs and a number of religious and academic bodies.

Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) is an independent human rights organisation dedicated to the realisation of equal access to justice for all. It campaigns through advocacy, strategic litigation and authoritative analysis for the eradication of social and economic exclusion.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is the leading independent, non-governmental membership organisation working to defend and promote human rights and civil liberties in Ireland. It was founded in 1976 by, amongst others, Mary Robinson, Kader Asmal, and Justice Donal Barrington. Over the past three decades, the ICCL has campaigned in the sphere of civil liberties and human rights reform, using international human rights standards to assess State law and policy. The ICCL does not seek or accept Government funding for its work.

The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) is Ireland's leading non-governmental organisation campaigning for the rights of people in prison and the progressive reform of Irish penal policy. The IPRT is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

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