Mother and Baby Homes Legal Challenges
KRW LAW LLP (KRW) represents a number of people, including members of survivor groups, who gave evidence to the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation Commission.
Following the enactment into law last week of the The Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Act 2020 KRW is requesting Witness Statements and Evidence provided to the Commission by our clients. The Irish Government was forced to clarify its position on freedom of access to this information last week. Our application will test the commitment of the government to open access.
KRW understands that the Commission has delivered its final report to the government and that it is now being examined by the Attorney General for release later this year. The Commission formally ceases to exist in 2021 when all its material will be placed in the possession of TULSA (Child and Family Agency).
The Commission has been criticised for the scope of its Terms of Reference. Now KRW on behalf of those we represent is considering those criticisms with a possible view to legal challenges against the Irish Government. Specifically:
the failure of the government to conduct a human rights compliant investigation in accordance with Article 3 ECHR (the absolute prohibition on inhuman and degrading treatment) into the abuse of victims and survivors of Mother and Baby Homes
the failure of the government to conduct a human rights compliant investigation in accordance with Article 3 ECHR (torture) for victims and survivors of the medical procedure of symphysiotomy
the failure of the government to facilitate a right to truth/knowledge in accordance with Article 3 ECHR for victims and survivors of Mother and Baby Homes
the failure of the government to to provide an effective remedy following an Article 3 breach under Article 13 ECHR in particularly the failure to establish any form of fiscal redress scheme for victims and survivors of Mother and Baby Homes
the failure of the government to direct inquests into the excavated bodies found on the sites of Mother and Baby Homes;
to establish the liability of the Irish State for breach of its retrospective duties in relation to enforced disappearance and its complicity in slavery and trafficking.
KRW is now preparing submissions to be sent to the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth expressing our concerns on the work of the Commission in advance of the publication of its Report and seeking a date of its release to the public.