Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality
Domestic and Sexual Violence: Discussion
Ms Fiona Crowley:
I have about a minute to go.
However, we are concerned at the delay in Ireland's moving to sign and ratify the convention. The committee will be aware that there has been a suggestion that there is some constitutional bar to Ireland's ratification. In the Dáil last year, the Minister for Justice and Equality suggested that he needed to understand whether the barring orders provision conflicted with the property rights provision in the Constitution. Our position is that regardless of whether further research into compatibility is required, it should not constitute a barrier to Ireland's at least signing the convention. Ireland has signed many other human rights conventions without its domestic law being in full compliance and then moved to ratification once legal compliance is in place. For instance, it signed the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings in 2007, only ratifying in 2010 when its laws and national action plan were in place.
In conclusion, I remind the committee that when seeking election to the UN Human Rights Council in 2012, Ireland pledged to play a full role in global efforts to combat violence against women and promote gender equality. It must now do so at home as well. We recommend that the committee recommend to the Minister that Ireland immediately sign the convention and take necessary measures to ensure its swift ratification. This would constitute a practical and important step and solution.