Reservations and Declarations for Treaty No.005 - Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Nature of declaration : Declarations, Denunciations, Derogations
Status as of 21/11/2017

Ireland

Derogation contained in a letter from the Secretary General of the Department of External Affairs of Ireland, dated 20 July 1957, registered at the Secretariat General on 22 July 1957 – Or. Engl.

1. The Government of Ireland declares that Part II of the Offences against the State (Amendment) Act, 1940, was brought into force on the 8th July, 1957, when a Proclamation made by the Government of Ireland on the 5th July, 1957, under section 3 of the Act, was published in the Iris Oifigiúil, the Official Gazette. A copy of the Proclamation, together with a copy of the Act, is attached to this letter.

2. Insofar as the bringing into operation of Part II of the Act, which confers special powers of arrest and detention, may involve any derogation from the obligations imposed by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Government of Ireland request the Secretary General to regard this letter as informing him accordingly, in compliance with Article 15 (3) of the Convention.

3. The detention of persons under the Act is considered necessary to prevent the commission of offences against public peace and order and to prevent the maintaining of military or armed forces other than those authorised by the Constitution.

4. The Government of Ireland invites also the attention of the Secretary General to section 8 of the Act, which provides for the establishment by the Government of Ireland of a Commission to enquire into the grounds of detention of any person who applies to have his detention investigated. The Commission envisaged by the section was established on the 16th July, 1957.

[Note by the Secretariat : A copy of these documents in English can be supplied on request to the Treaty Office's Secretariat.]
Period covered: 22/07/1957 - 09/03/1962
Articles concerned : 15

Withdrawal of derogation contained in a letter from the Secretary General of the Department of External Affairs of Ireland, dated 3 April 1962, registered at the Secretariat General on 6 April 1962 – Or. Engl.

With reference to the letter of 20th July, 1957, informing the Secretary General that Part II of the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act, 1940, was brought into force on 8th July, 1957, the Government of Ireland now informs the Secretary General that the said Part II of the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act, 1940, ceased to be in force as from 9th March, 1962, when the Government of Ireland published in the Iris Oifigiúil, the Official Gazette, a Proclamation to that effect. A copy of the Iris Oifigiúli containing the Proclamation is attached to this letter.

[Note by the Secretariat : A copy of the Proclamation in English can be supplied on request to the Treaty Office's Secretariat.]
Period covered: 09/03/1962 - 21/10/1976
Articles concerned : 15

Derogation contained in a Note verbale from the Permanent Representation of Ireland, dated 18 October 1976, registered at the Secretariat General on 21 October 1976 – Or. Engl.

1. The Government of Ireland declares that, on the 16th day of October 1976, the Emergency Powers Act, 1976, became law. A copy of the Act is annexed to this note.

2. As this enactment could involve derogation from the obligations imposed by the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Government of Ireland request the Secretary General to regard this note as informing him accordingly, in compliance with the requirements of Article 15 (3) of the Convention.

3. The reasons for this enactment are set out hereunder.
Very serious acts of terrorism have occurred in this State over the past several years, including murders, bombings and arson. Notwithstanding the measures taken by the authorities to deal with them, the terrorist activities have continued, and have increased in intensity and seriousness. Within recent months, a bomb was sent by post to the home of a Judge, bombs were exploded in a Courthouse in the centre of Dublin during the trial of a number of persons charged with terrorist-type offences, and the Ambassador to Ireland of the United Kingdom and a civil servant of the Government of the United Kingdom were assassinated by a bomb attack in the outskirts of Dublin. Because of the gravity of the position, the Oireachtas was specially recalled during the summer recess to deal with the situation. Prior to their assembling, damage resulting in claims totalling millions of pounds was caused by incendiary devices placed in cinemas and other buildings frequented by the public. The two Houses of the Oireachtas resolved, pursuant to Article 28.3.3° of the Constitution, that a national emergency exists affecting the vital interests of the State.

In the light of the serious security situation, the Government decided that it was necessary to enact legislation to give power to members of the Gardia Siochana to hold in custody for up to seven days persons suspected in connection with the actual, attempted or intended commission of a range of serious offences connected with terrorism or suspected of being in possession of evidence or information regarding such offences. Experience has established that the period of 48 hours during which persons under the existing law could be held in custody was not sufficient for the completion of Garda inquiries in relation to serious offences of the type in question. The organisation and execution of such offences can extend widely over the country and involve substantial numbers of persons. The terrorist groups concerned with these offences use intimidation of witnesses, collusion and other means for the purpose of obstructing and hampering police investigations. The Garda Siochana need to be able to carry out their investigations free from such obstruction. The security authorities considered that the extended period available for questioning suspects as information becomes available in the course of inquiries would unquestionably help to bring to justice the perpetrators of a significantly greater number of offences before further outrages are carried out. The Government considered this advice in the light of the present situation and decided to accept it. Accordingly, the Government proposed the measure referred to in paragraph 1 of this note which has been enacted into law.

When the Bill had been passed by both Houses, the President, after consultation with the Council of State, pursuant to Article 26 of the Constitution, referred it to the Supreme Court for a decision as to whether the Bill or any provision of the Bill was repugnant to the Constitution. On the 15th October last the Supreme Court gave their judgment that neither the Bill nor any provision thereof was repugnant to the Constitution and the President signed the Bill on the 16th October last, whereupon it became law.

[Note by the Secretariat : A copy of the Act in English can be supplied on request to the Treaty Office's Secretariat.]
Period covered: 21/10/1976 - 16/10/1977
Articles concerned : 15

Withdrawal of derogation contained in a letter from the Secretary General of the Department of External Affairs of Ireland, dated 20 October 1977, registered at the Secretariat General on 24 October 1977 – Or. Engl.

1. The note of 18 October 1976 informed the Secretary General of the enactment of the Emergency Powers Act, 1976 (...). It described the security situation which obtained at that time. The Government of Ireland, having reviewed the present situation, have come to the conclusion that the degree by which the measures contained in Section 2 of the Act ameliorated the public emergency is not such as to make them strictly required by the exigencies of the situation. Accordingly, the Government of Ireland has decided not to make an order under paragraph (a) of Section 1(2) of the Act providing for the continued existence of those powers.

2. Because of the Government of Ireland's decision not to make such an order, the measures which gave rise to the Government's notification of 18 October 1976 of possible derogation from the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ceased to operate on 16 October 1977. The legal position in regard to arrest, custody and questioning of persons which existed prior to the coming into force of that Act, and which remains strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, obtains again, since that date.

The Government of Ireland requests the Secretary General to regard this letter as informing him accordingly, in compliance with the requirements of Article 15(3) of the Convention.
Period covered: 16/10/1977 -
Articles concerned : 15

Declarations from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, dated 18 February 1953, registered at the Secretariat General on 25 February 1953 - Or. Engl.

In accordance with Article 25 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950, the Government of Ireland recognises the competence of the European Commission of Human Rights to receive petitions addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe from any person, non-governmental organisation or group of individuals claiming to be the victim of a violation by one of the High Contracting Parties of the rights set forth in the said Convention.

In accordance with Article 46 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 [see Article 34 of the Convention since the entry into force of Protocol No. 11], the Government of Ireland recognises as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in all matters concerning the interpretation and application of the said Convention, for a period of five years and thereafter until such time as notice of withdrawal of the recognition may be given.
Period covered: 03/09/1953 - 31/10/1998
Articles concerned : Ex-25, Ex-46


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