Human Rights

Human rights law features in most of my scholarship, including under the themes of security/counter-terrorism, constitutional law, and gender and the law. However, I also have a stream of research that is concerned with human rights law per se. This stream has two main elements. The first relates to the status and operation of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Irish context, and the second to the European Court of Human Rights itself.

The ECHR in Ireland

imagesCAC510JVIn spite of being a very early signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, Ireland did not make the Convention applicable as a matter of domestic law until the commencement of the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003. This Act, which borrows very heavily from the UK’s Human Rights Act 1998, introduces interpretive obligations (on Courts) and performative obligations (on organs of the state) as well as introducing the Declaration of Incompatibility into Irish law. Together with Cliona Kelly I wrote the first sustained analysis of the Act, which was published as The European Convention on Human Rights Act: Operation, Impact and Analysis. More recently, I have been undertaking work to explore the apparently low-impact nature of this Act, which I argue is largely explicable by both the continuing superiority of constitutional remedies in Ireland and the awkward fit of a HRA-style Act within the Irish politico-legal structure.

The European Court of Human Rights

My more recent work has been concerned with the European Court of Human Rights itself, and particularly with its longer term future. In this respect, I have argued that the Court ought to prioritise constitutionalism over adjudication in its case selection and explored, with Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, the implications of recent developments in the Court’s reasoning (such as what we term ‘trumping internal consensus‘) for the Court’s stability. I am now working on a number of papers relating to the Court and constitutionalism and recently made a submission in the Court’s open process on the longer-term future of the Court (available here). My most recent paper, with Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, was published in the Human Rights Law Review in 2015 (Fiona de Londras & Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, “Managing Judicial Innovation in the European Court of Human Rights”).

The Human Rights Act 1998

Although I do not usually write on the Human Rights Act per se, I am one of the co-authors on this policy paper on implications of the possible repeal of the HRA and withdrawal from the ECHR.

Relevant Publications

Fiona de Londras & Cliona Kelly (2010) The European Convention on Human Rights Act: Operation, Impact and Analysis Dublin : Round Hall/Thomson Reuters

Fiona de Londras (2014), “Neither Herald nor Fanfare: the Limited Impact of the ECHR Act 2003 on Rights Infrastructure in Ireland” in Egan, Thornton & Walsh (eds), Ireland and the European Convention on Human Rights (Bloomsbury Professional). forthcoming

Fiona de Londras & Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, “Managing Judicial Innovation in the European Court of Human Rights” (2015) 15(3) Human Rights Law Review 523-547

Fiona de Londras, “Declarations of Incompatibility under the ECHR Act 2003: A Workable Transplant? (2014) 35(1) Statute Law Review 50

Fiona de Londras & Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou, “Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, A, B and C v Ireland” (2013) 62(1) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 250

Fiona de Londras, “Dual Functionality and the Persistent Frailty of the European Court of Human Rights” (2013) European Human Rights Law Review 38

Fiona de Londras (2014), Submission on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights

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