International bodies can protect rights at home

7 May 2010

uuLegal rights organisation FLAC today encouraged people in Ireland to use international legal mechanisms to protect their rights at home.

Speaking at a seminar organised by FLAC's Public Interest Law Alliance on international legal procedures, FLAC Director General Noeline Blackwell said: "At a time when human rights standards are under threat, it is important to use all the legal tools at our disposal to maintain them. Colm O'Cinneide and Kate Fox have given us new insights into how we can keep a spotlight on domestic injustice by using international mechanisms."

Mr O'Cinneide, a law professor based in London, is vice president of the prestigious European Committee on Social Rights of the Council of Europe. Ms Fox, an Irish solicitor, works with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva in Switzerland.




Notes for editors:

1. PILA is a project of FLAC which was established in 2009. It aims to facilitate and promote the use of law in the public interest for the advancement and protection of human rights and for the benefit of marginalised and disadvantaged people through its work in public interest litigation, law reform and legal education. See for more details.

2. FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) 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 to contribute to the eradication of social and economic exclusion.

3. Colm O'Cinneide is currently vice-president of the European Committee on Social Rights, which monitors state compliance with the European Social Charter. He is a reader in human rights law at University College London and a member of the Irish Bar. He was a member of the UK Task Force on the establishment of the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

4. Kate Fox is an Irish solicitor who has worked in the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for over 10 years. She has provided substantive legal support to the independent monitoring bodies of the 4 treaties dealing with individual complaints against State parties: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention against Torture, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.