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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link MAIN SERVER BACK UP AGAIN VINEYARDSAKER:

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offsite link Good news out of Russia - even the "non-system" opposition refuses to blame the Kremlin VINEYARDSAKER:

offsite link Nemtsov murder: Putin warned about exactly this type of "false flag" two years ago VINEYARDSAKER:

offsite link DPR PM Zakharchenko presser 27/02/15 Economical and political future of DPR VINEYARDSAKER:

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
www.humanrights.ie

offsite link No Democratic Deficit: Children and Family Relationships Bill has had a Lengthy Gestation Period Thu Mar 05, 2015 18:40 | Brian Tobin

offsite link Maynooth Law School: The Gaza Strip: Military & Legal Perspective Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:20 | admin

offsite link The Truth about Torture: Ireland v UK Revisited Tue Mar 03, 2015 14:02 | Yvonne Daly

offsite link Law Lecturing positions advertised at Dublin City University Tue Mar 03, 2015 13:29 | Yvonne Daly

offsite link UCD Seminar: Smart Power and US Counter-Terrorism: The Sound Bite and The Reality Tue Mar 03, 2015 09:15 | admin

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
For lefties too stubborn to quit

offsite link Neutral? We?re totally ?militarily? neutral? 18:00 Fri Mar 06, 2015 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link A living wage? and it?s enemies. 14:16 Fri Mar 06, 2015 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Films about Palestine 10:03 Fri Mar 06, 2015 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Canvassing for Marriage Equality 05:44 Fri Mar 06, 2015 | irishelectionliterature

offsite link South Dublin and the Next Election 22:00 Thu Mar 05, 2015 | irishelectionliterature

Cedar Lounge >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015

offsite link ALWAYS THE ARTISTS: WEEK THREE OF THE BANK INQUIRY 23:11 Thu Jan 22, 2015

offsite link FIANNA FÁIL AND THE BANK INQUIRY : SOME INITIAL OBSERVATIONS 21:04 Mon Jan 12, 2015

offsite link PETER NYBERG BANK INQUIRY EVIDENCE, 17 DECEMBER 2014 18:05 Sun Dec 28, 2014

offsite link For Some Vicious Mole of Nature: Making Sense of The Irish Bank Crisis 21:07 Fri Dec 26, 2014

Dublin Opinion >>

Brian Tobin - Thu Mar 05, 2015 18:40
Those opposed to marriage equality and same-sex parenting are targeting the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015, claiming that it is being pushed through by the government. This is disingenuous and fails to take account of the lengthy gestation period (no pun intended) that the legislation underwent before being debated by the Houses of the(...)

Those opposed to marriage equality and same-sex parenting are targeting the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015, claiming that it is being pushed through by the government. This is disingenuous and fails to take account of the lengthy gestation period (no pun intended) that the legislation underwent before being debated by the Houses of the Oireachtas. I know this because I was one of the legal experts invited to Leinster House almost a year ago, on 9th April 2014, to engage in pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Bill with the members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality. It has been claimed that the Bill has not been adequately scrutinised, but indeed it was. I would like to assure the public that the Bill?s provisions were indeed ?pored over? by me prior to my arrival at Leinster House, and the advice given by myself and the other medical and legal experts that day during a lengthy consultation helped to identify problems and recommend changes to the legislation to prevent unforeseen consequences for children.

The version of the Bill that the Oireachtas hopes to pass within weeks can most likely be passed in that time because it is the final, legally watertight version of the Bill that has been modified to reflect the child-centred changes recommended by the experts a year ago. The Bill also adheres to best practice worldwide in the context of donor-assisted human reproduction (DAHR). In September 2014 the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, made it clear that the expert opinion provided by myself and others had contributed to the careful refinement of the Bill when she stated that she had ?listened to the views expressed in the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality?s consultation.? The Bill certainly cannot be seen as a haphazard attempt at legislating for families.

Adoption

Marriage equality and same-sex parenting opponents disingenuously claim that the Bill demonstrates that the Government does not care whether one is raised by one?s own biological parents or ?two men or two women who may or may not be related to you?. Many adopted children nationwide are being       raised perfectly well by men and women biologically unrelated to them, so this preference for biological parents is most disrespectful to the child-rearing capability of all adoptive parents. Further, whether a child is raised by two men or two women who are related or unrelated to the child, an ever-increasing body of evidence shows that same-sex parenting is not detrimental to child welfare.

Donor-Assisted Human Reproduction

The opponents of progress and inclusiveness vehemently claim that ?the person who gives you half your identity is apparently not your parent just because the Government says so?, and this is simply untrue because the reason a donor is not treated as the parent of a child conceived via their donated egg or sperm is precisely because the donor intends to donate her/his genetic material to enable a loving, committed couple who would not otherwise be able to have a family to conceive a child. Indeed, to donate is to give something away for a worthy or charitable cause.

The opponents even resort to disinformation, claiming that ?in the case of egg-and-sperm donation, two mothers can be registered as the only legal parents, effectively eradicating the concept of genetic parent?. This assertion is highly sensationalist. Where a lesbian couple conceives a child via insemination of donor sperm, the child will have a genetic link to whichever member of the couple is inseminated with the sperm and ultimately gives birth to it, so there is no eradication of the concept of genetic parentage because the birth mother will always be the mother. Further, it is not uncommon for a lesbian couple to use the fertilised embryo of the woman who will not be carrying the child so that, in a sense both women can be genetically related to the child, although the woman in whom such an embryo is implanted will have but an epigenetic connection to the child. Nonetheless, there is certainly no eradication of the concept of genetic parent.

Marriage Equality

Dissatisfied with the denunciation of their arguments surrounding the 2015 Bill, the opponents then decide to launch into an attack on marriage equality because this is really what they take issue with. Objections to the 2015 Bill?s provisions are but a smokescreen for their moral repugnance of, and inherent belief in the wrongness of, gay and lesbian relationships. The opponents of progress and inclusiveness use case law of the European Court of Human Rights to highlight that Ireland is not under an obligation under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 to introduce same-sex marriage. While this is correct, they neglect to mention that Article 53 of the Convention provides that ?it is of course open to Member States to provide for rights more generous than those guaranteed by the Convention? so if the Irish people choose to embrace marriage equality under the Irish Constitution on 22nd May it is no concern of the European Court of Human Rights. This is the reason why countries such as France, England and Wales, Scotland, Spain and Portugal certainly were not acting in breach of the Convention when they legalised marriage equality.

The introduction of the Children and Family Relationships Bill 2015 will be no democratic disaster; it will be the result of painstaking work by our legislators and their advisors that has been on-going since Alan Shatter first introduced the General Scheme of the Bill in January 2014.

admin - Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:20
?The Gaza Strip: Military & Legal Perspectives? A Public Lecture by Col. Desmond Travers When: Monday, 23 March 2015, 6:30pm ? 8pm Where: Renehan Hall, South Campus, Maynooth University Desmond Travers is a retired Irish army colonel who served with a number of UN peacekeeping missions in the Middle East and the Balkans. He is(...)

mayuni_logo?The Gaza Strip: Military & Legal Perspectives?

A Public Lecture by Col. Desmond Travers

When: Monday, 23 March 2015, 6:30pm ? 8pm

Where: Renehan Hall, South Campus, Maynooth University

Desmond Travers is a retired Irish army colonel who served with a number of UN peacekeeping missions in the Middle East and the Balkans. He is now a director of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations in the Hague, where he trains and supports teams involved in the investigation and prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Colonel Travers was a member of the Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict that was deployed by the United Nations in 2009, following Israel’s ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in the Gaza Strip. A similar independent international investigative mechanism, the Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza Conflict, was created by the UN following Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in the summer of 2014, with a mandate to investigate all violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. This commission is scheduled to present its report to the UN Human Rights Council on 23 March 2015. Drawing on his experiences as a military investigator and legal-political analyst in the context of the Middle East, Col. Travers will provide his reflections on this latest investigative process and on Israel’s use of force in the Gaza Strip last summer, as well as his analysis of current and future developments in Palestine/Israel.

Attendance is free and all are welcome; please email law@nuim.ie to register.

Yvonne Daly - Tue Mar 03, 2015 14:02
Maynooth University Department of Law is hosting a talk by two of the ?Hooded Men?, Jim Auld and Joe Clarke, followed by a legal analysis of the European Court of Human Rights Case with Fiona Duignan, LLM. The event will talk place Monday, 9 March, at 5pm in CS2, which is located in the Callan(...)

Maynooth University Department of Law is hosting a talk by two of the ?Hooded Men?, Jim Auld and Joe Clarke, followed by a legal analysis of the European Court of Human Rights Case with Fiona Duignan, LLM.

The event will talk place Monday, 9 March, at 5pm in CS2, which is located in the Callan Building on the North Campus of Maynooth University.

In 2014 the Irish government requested that the case of Ireland v UK be reopened before the European Court of Human Rights. The case concerned the treatment of the ?Hooded Men?, republicans detained by British forces in 1971 and subjected to deprivation of food and water, deprivation of sleep, continuous loud noise, forced stress positions and prolonged hooding at Ballykelly British Army Base in Northern Ireland.

The Irish government brought a complaint against the UK to the European Court of Human Rights. While the Court found that the treatment of the men amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment, it held that it did not meet the threshold of torture.

Following a review of recently released British government documents which shed additional light on the treatment of the ?Hooded Men?, and the evolution of the definition of torture, the Irish government has now referred the case back to the European Court and asked it to revise its decision that this treatment did not amount to torture.

This discussion looks at the background to the Ireland v UK case and analyses the importance of its reopening and the significance of a finding of torture by the Court.

For more information on this event click here.

Yvonne Daly - Tue Mar 03, 2015 13:29
As part of its continuing development, the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University (DCU) intends to appoint new Lecturers in Law. The appointments, for a fixed term of five years, will commence on 1 September 2015. Applications from candidates with demonstrated third-level lecturing experience and academic research expertise in any area of(...)

DCUAs part of its continuing development, the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University (DCU) intends to appoint new Lecturers in Law. The appointments, for a fixed term of five years, will commence on 1 September 2015.

Applications from candidates with demonstrated third-level lecturing experience and academic research expertise in any area of law are welcome. The school has particular teaching needs in the area of private law and that may be a factor in short-listing and final selection.

The School offers successful taught programmes in Law, including the BCL(Law and Society), the BA in Economics, Politics and Law, and Law as a subject in the BA (Joint Honours). The School will be launching a new LLM in Law (subject to accreditation) in September 2015, and it also offers both Research Masters and PhDs in Law.

The School is committed to high-quality research and it hosts the Socio-Legal Research Centre.

Further details on the posts, including the relevant advertisement (in full) and the application form are available here.

The closing date for applications is March 16th 2015.

admin - Tue Mar 03, 2015 09:15
UCD Human Rights Network invites you to a seminar with Dr Pauline Eadie on Smart Power and US Counter-Terrorism: The Sound Bite and The Reality. The seminar will take place at 1pm on Friday, 6th March 2015, in the Harty Boardroom, 1st Floor, UCD School of Law. All are welcome.   Dr. Pauline Eadie is an Assistant(...)

UCD EadieUCD Human Rights Network invites you to a seminar with Dr Pauline Eadie on Smart Power and US Counter-Terrorism: The Sound Bite and The Reality. The seminar will take place at 1pm on Friday, 6th March 2015, in the Harty Boardroom, 1st Floor, UCD School of Law. All are welcome.

 

Dr. Pauline Eadie is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham. Where she is also Deputy Director of the Institute of Asia Pacific Studies (IAPS). She has published widely on issues of terrorism and security. She is currently working on an edited collection to be published with Routledge’s Global Security Studies series entitled Military Transformation in the West and Asia: Security Policy in the Cold War Era. Dr. Eadie has travelled widely in the Philippines. She is author of Poverty and the Critical Security Agenda, which looks at the case study of the Philippines. She has recently been awarded a major grant from the ESRC/Dfid for a three year research project entitled ?Poverty Alleviation in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda?. This project will look at coping strategies, rehabilitation and resilience.

Aoife O'Donoghue - Wed Feb 25, 2015 09:40
The Irish Society for European Law recently re-launched the Irish Journal of European Law as an e-journal. The Journal, which has been published since 1992, is a leading international journal on European law edited by Irish scholars and practitioners. The 2014 volume is now available on the Society?s website here. The Journal – which is(...)

IJELThe Irish Society for European Law recently re-launched the Irish Journal of European Law as an e-journal. The Journal, which has been published since 1992, is a leading international journal on European law edited by Irish scholars and practitioners. The 2014 volume is now available on the Society?s website here.

The Journal – which is blind peer-reviewed – is now issuing a call for original papers for its 2015 volume.

Long articles (indicative length 8,000 – 12,000 words) and shorter articles (3,000-4,000 words), and analyses of any length of recent developments are invited.  While submissions on Irish-European legal issues are of special interest, the Journal welcomes submissions on all areas of European law. In addition to the more traditional form of academic article, comment and opinion pieces on European-Irish affairs with a legal dimension, are also welcomed.

Submissions are to be sent to ijel.submissions@gmail.com by Friday 15th May 2015 in WORD format, size 12 font, single-spaced. The referencing style guide is OSCOLA Ireland, which is available online here.

Liam Thornton - Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:15
The Transitional Justice Institute (Ulster University) and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (Ulster University) invite proposals for a one-day postgraduate symposium on Occupation, Transitional Justice and Gender to be held on Friday, 8 May 2015. Keynote Speaker: Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political(...)

Ulster uNiThe Transitional Justice Institute (Ulster University) and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (Ulster University) invite proposals for a one-day postgraduate symposium on Occupation, Transitional Justice and Gender to be held on Friday, 8 May 2015.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Date: Friday, 8 May 2015, 09:00 ? 18:30

Venue: Ulster University, York St campus (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

This symposium seeks to explore the interface between occupation, transitional justice and gender. The starting point for exploration is based in feminist concerns that are broadly focused on issues of power, control and hierarchies. More specifically, feminist theorizing acknowledges that women?s needs during times of occupation, conflict, and/or transition are often ignored, sidelined or essentialised; recent research is also looking into masculinities during these periods. While much research has explored transitional justice and gender, there has been limited research on the relationship and complexities of occupation and gender. Furthermore, there is a dearth of research on how these three concepts intersect, inform and/or impact each other. Some questions to be explored during the symposium may include:

– What might be the approach in exploring the interface between occupation and transitional justice while utilizing a gendered lens?

– How does law capture modern instances of occupation that do not fit neatly into the existing legal coding?

– Can transitional justice mechanisms be employed while there is an occupation and can such mechanisms take the gendered needs of the population into account? ?

– Can the exceptionality of occupation reveal gender differences unapparent in normal settings and, if so, what are their implications for transitional justice theory and praxis?

We invite papers from postgraduate students (PhD and Masters) who are exploring the above-mentioned questions in any context and any time period; case studies and theoretical papers are also welcomed. We also invite poster proposals to be featured during a special poster session. For paper or poster proposals, please send a title, a 200-word abstract, and a short one-paragraph biography by 28 February 2015 (note the extended date) to Rimona Afana (afana-r@email.ulster.ac.uk) and Stephanie Chaban (chaban-s@email.ulster.ac.uk). Acceptance of abstracts will be notified by 15 March 2015.

All submissions will be eligible for Best Paper and Best Poster awards. Papers will get substantive and thorough feedback from faculty with expertise in gender/transition and/or law of armed conflict. The organizers are exploring the possibility of publication for the best papers. The symposium will feature Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, as the keynote speaker. Gender experts from the Transitional Justice Institute and IRiSS will also participate. Furthermore, there will also be a praxis session involving domestic and international work related to women?s grassroots involvement in transitional justice mechanisms. The full schedule will be announced shortly.

While there is no registration fee, we regret that we are unable to cover travel and accommodation costs for participants. The symposium is sponsored by the Feminist & Women?s Studies Association (FWSA): http://fwsablog.org.uk/

 

Further sponsorship is provided by the Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University, the Research Graduate School, Ulster University, and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, Ulster University.

Vicky Conway - Fri Feb 20, 2015 13:52
As of this week there have been 23 arrests since the protests in Jobstown over Irish water in mid-November (as well as the jailing of 5 individuals for contempt of court in related disputes).  Of concern seems to be the method of the arrest, more than the arrests themselves. Accounts have been presented of up to(...)

irish waterAs of this week there have been 23 arrests since the protests in Jobstown over Irish water in mid-November (as well as the jailing of 5 individuals for contempt of court in related disputes).  Of concern seems to be the method of the arrest, more than the arrests themselves. Accounts have been presented of up to 10 gardaí arriving in pre-dawn raids to homes to arrest individuals, some as young as 16 and still in school. Some commentators have mooted that this strategy can be appropriate when police believe resistance and the gathering of a crowd are possible. That analysis, however, involves a number of assumptions: that those involved are more likely than other arrestees to make a scene and that the surrounding community will react in a particular way. This, to my mind, is an issue of stereotyping to which I?ll return.

Whether it’s Shell 2 Sea, Reclaim the Streets, Student Fees, the British Embassy, the HBlocks, the Curragh, and all the way back to the Blue Shirts, protests in Ireland have regularly left allegations of garda brutality in their wake. These allegations have invariably received at least some media attention and on occasion have lead to action, such as the prosecutions and compensation claims following the May Day 2002 protests, or the undertaking of a report by Front Line Defenders into the policing of the Corrib Gas Dispute. It is more rare for attention to be drawn to how the gardaí use their powers in the aftermath of protests, who they choose to arrest and ultimately prosecute, until now.

Those who have decried the arrests have labelled them political policing. I have no doubt that it is, but there are different forms of political policing, each raising separate but inherent problems. Determining which form of political policing is at play in this instance is a complicated task because of the policing structures which we have.

What might seem like the most extreme version of political policing is that there is some direct or indirect political interference: a spoken command or a subtle indication that action must be taken, preferable in a particular way. What is most alarming is that the system of governance of policing in Ireland makes this possible. As it stands the Commissioner is only accountable to government. The Minister for Justice answers whatever questions arise about policing in the Dáil. She also has the power to demand a report on any matter of policing (s.41(2) Garda Síochána Act 2005) and to prevent GSOC from undertaking broader investigations, as occurred in relation to Shell 2 Sea. The relationship between these two office-holders is difficult to scrutinise (as events between Shatter and Callinan display) so it would be difficult to know what has been indicated or requested, directly or indirectly. As things are currently structured the Minister should be asking about developments in cases of public concern but the nature and extent of those communications can be concealed.

There could be more indirect political interference, again due to the structures of police governance. The Government has a substantial position of authority over the police service. It appoints and removes the Commissioner. It determines budgets. It approves policing plans. At a time when policing resources are stretched and when senior management positions are unfilled it is not inconceivable that consciously or subconsciously there is an underlying desire not to displease government.  It?s murky territory but highlights once again the problem of having both that power over policing and that political interest in the outcomes of police work vested in the government.

But there is another way in which politics can influence policing and it may well be that this is the most likely factor at play here. Police culture is inherently conservative. Those drawn to policing as a career are well documented as having conservative political views and the nature of the work invariably serves to reinforce and entrench those. From the conservative policing standpoint, protestors challenge authority of the state, which the police personify.

Police are also prone, due to the nature of their work, to stereotype. Assumptions are made on the basis of appearance, status and the location in which any encounters occur. This combination of conservatism and stereotyping can not only lead to a more forceful response at protests than is always necessary but can also explain the nature of these arrests, and why elites are conversely asked to attend stations by appointment. This is, of course, not acceptable. People should not be treated differential on the basis of such assumptions. Rights to liberty, privacy and family life are involved and these should only be infringed in appropriate circumstances.

This more cultural influence of politics does not involve political parties, save for the extent to which they must take responsibility for not addressing such long standing concerns and providing appropriate oversight of policing in Ireland. The proposed policing authority has the potential to alter each of the influences outlined here. Ireland needs that oversight of its police service if the public are to have confidence in it. We need a public space where management can be asked to discuss policies and tactics and to engage in conversations about human rights considerations, absent political interests. This body needs to be created as a matter of urgency.

Liam Thornton - Tue Feb 17, 2015 16:06
UCD Human Rights Network invites you to a screening of RTÉ Investigations Unit: THE TORTURE FILES Date: Friday, 27 February 2014 Time: 1pm Location: Clinical Legal Education Centre, UCD Sutherland School of Law (map and directions) On the Case of Ireland v United Kingdom, European Court of Human Rights (1978). This documentary, and campaigning by the ‘hooded(...)

HOODED MENUCD Human Rights Network invites you to a screening of RTÉ Investigations Unit:

THE TORTURE FILES

Date: Friday, 27 February 2014

Time: 1pm

Location: Clinical Legal Education Centre, UCD Sutherland School of Law (map and directions)

On the Case of Ireland v United KingdomEuropean Court of Human Rights (1978). This documentary, and campaigning by the ‘hooded men‘, led to the State’s application to have the 1978 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights revised, so that the treatment the hooded men suffered is recognised as torture.

The screening will be followed by a Q & A, with Rita O?Reilly, RTÉ Investigative Journalist.

Pic Credit: Irish Times

Yvonne Daly - Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:37
DCU Socio-Legal Research Centre is proud to announce the launch of the latest edition of its Socio-Legal Studies Review, by Ms Justice Carmel Stewart. To celebrate this latest edition the Socio-Legal Research Centre is hosting a panel discussion on contemporary issues in social and economic rights. A panel discussion with contributions from Gerry Whyte (TCD), Claire-Michelle Smyth (DCU),(...)
DCUDCU Socio-Legal Research Centre is proud to announce the launch of the latest edition of its Socio-Legal Studies Review, by Ms Justice Carmel Stewart. To celebrate this latest edition the Socio-Legal Research Centre is hosting a panel discussion on contemporary issues in social and economic rights. A panel discussion with contributions from Gerry Whyte (TCD), Claire-Michelle Smyth (DCU), Liam Thornton (UCD) and Fergus Ryan (NUIM) will be chaired by Brenda Daly (DCU) and followed by a closing address from Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner in the Human Rights and Equality Commission.
This event will take place on Monday 2nd March from 5pm in the School of Nursing, Dublin City University. Attendance is free but due to limited places registration is advised. To register contact claire-michelle.smyth[at]dcu.ie

Human Rights in Ireland >>

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