28 March 2012
Irish Council for Civil Liberties - Press Release: 18th September 2003
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (ECPT) has recommended for the third report in a row that the Irish Government must allow a person in detention to have a lawyer present when being interrogated. Responding to the publication today of the ECPT Report on the their visit to Ireland in 2002, Aisling Reidy Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) commented:
"This recommendation was first made by the Committee when they visited in 1995 - eight years later and they still have to repeat it to the government. In this case, the Government has had this report since last December. It told the Committee it would review the situation concerning access to a lawyer. It is therefore quite extraordinary that the Minister for Justice has recently brought out a new Garda Powers Bill increasing the time that people can be detained without charge and has ignored this core and repeated recommendation. The message is clear: having a lawyer is a right that prevents the possibility of ill-treatment or abuse of power during interrogation. It is impossible to understand why the government and the Minister do not want this right provided to people. Similarly for a third time in a row, the Committee has had to call on the government to put in place an independent and impartial complaints mechanism for people who complain of ill-treatment."
The ECPT visits Ireland on a periodic basis as a party to the European Convention on the Prevention of Torture. The report of the Committee, based on visits to police stations, prisons, mental health establishments and detention centres for children, raises many areas of concern. One of urgency that was highlighted was the lack of clarity around the legal safeguards for detention of individuals with a mental disability, and their rights.
"One of the most striking aspects of the Committee's report is that many of the recommendations are not new, but repeated recommendations to the government where the situation has not improved since the Committee's visits in 1995 and 1998. The Minister for Justice recently addressed a human rights conference and said that "it is one thing to have human rights charters, it is another thing to have governments who believe in them."
The report of the ECPT contains almost 50 recommendations, and many more comments and request for information from the Government. It will be enlightening to see how many recommendations are acted on and just how much belief the government places in protecting the rights of some of the most vulnerable in society, including juveniles, the mentally ill, and the mentally disabled".
Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.
Statewatch does not have a corporate view, nor does it seek to create one, the views expressed are those of the author. Statewatch is not responsible for the content of external websites and inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement. Registered UK charity number: 1154784. Registered UK company number: 08480724. Registered company name: The Libertarian Research & Education Trust. Registered office: c/o MDR, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH, UK. © Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals "fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.