5th July 2022
Consideration and questioning of Ireland by the UN Human Rights Committee under ICCPR took place on 4th and 5th July 2022. As part of the session, IPRT was represented in Geneva by IPRT Executive Director, Saoirse Brady, who engaged with the UN Human Rights Committee in both formal and informal private sessions in advance of the State’s review by the Committee. IPRT also submitted an Alternative Report to the review process.
(Please note this list is not exhaustive and is subject to potential inaccuracies arising from live translation.)
Following IPRT’s Alternative Report and engagement with the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, the Committee asked the State for information in several areas relating to penal reform. These include requests for information on:
The ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) was raised by several Committee members during the session (see IPRT Alt Report, Rec 6). The State was asked for a specific timeline for the ratification of OPCAT and whether the General Scheme of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill meets the standards of functional and financial independence required under OPCAT. In its oral response, the State noted that the legislation has been delayed because of its complexity, requiring multiple stakeholder consultations. Following the recent publication of the General Scheme of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill the “intention is that the full Bill will be published by the end of the year” and will move through the Oireachtas quickly, with ratification intended to happen in early 2023.
Another issue raised on several occasions was the State’s reservation on Article 10(2) of the Convention. In its oral response, the State noted that it can comply with Article 10(2)[b] with respect to the separation of adults and juveniles in detention, but cannot guarantee compliance with Article 10(2)[a] with respect to the separation of remand and sentenced prisoners. The State noted that it would examine this later this year.
The UN Human Rights Committee will adopt the Concluding Observations on Ireland on 20 July, with a press conference on 27 July.