Public Interest Solicitors Ireland

Human Rights Law is a system of laws, both domestic and international, designed to promote human rights. Human rights law is made up of various international human rights instruments which are binding to its parties (nation-states that have ratified the treaty).

At Sinnott Solicitors we have an excellent reputation in dealing with human rights law issues in Ireland and in recognising when it is necessary to evoke particular remedies and rights.

Apart from our constitutional rights arising from the constitution, as a result of the passing of the European Convention on Human Rights in to law, individuals and states can now seek remedies at European level.

The Convention has an enormous influence on the law in this country and we must accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights which is now the first international Court to which individuals have automatic direct access for alleged breaches of a States international obligations.

Individuals and non governmental organisiations can make applications to the European Court of Human Rights.

Orders of the European Courts of Human Rights generally consist of a declaration that a violation has occurred and the Court can order an interim measure where there is an emergency.

Such is the significance of this Court that their decisions are almost always adhered to and carry enormous weight both locally and internationally.


Another element of Human Rights Law which has become prominent in this Country in recent years is the area of Equality Law.

The Equal Status Act of 2000 was enacted to combat discrimination in areas other than Employment Law on the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race, nationality and membership of the travelling community. In addition the Employment Equality Act seeks to combat discrimination on the same grounds.

Apart from the short description of the impact of Human Rights Law in this jurisdiction as set out above there are also a number of universal treatys and covenants for the protection of human rights which whilst not directly accessible in this jurisdiction nonetheless has been extremely influential and helped developed and expanded the area of human rights law in Ireland.

An important concept within human rights law is that of universal jurisdiction. This concept, which is not widely accepted, is that any nation is authorised to prosecute and punish violations of human rights wherever and whenever they may have occurred. In principle human rights law is enforced on a domestic level and nation states that ratify human rights treaties commit themselves to enact domestic human rights legislation.