Shatter faces calls to “champion” victims’ rights
Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter TD faced calls to be a “true champion” for victims’ rights at a high-level conference hosted by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in Dublin Castle today (Thursday, 12 April 2012).
The Minister gave the opening address at the event, ‘The EU Directive on Victims’ Rights: Opportunities and Challenges for Ireland’ which brought victims’ groups from across Ireland together with Europe’s top victims’ rights experts.
The ICCL conference was held in parallel to discussions in Brussels this week on a proposed new EU Directive to establish minimum legal standards on the rights, support and protection of the human rights of victims of crime.
Introducing the Minister, ICCL Director Mr Mark Kelly said:
“Alan Shatter has a strong track record of supporting the human rights of the victims of crime during his time in opposition, including by bringing forward two private members bills on victims’ rights. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties also welcomes his recent Ministerial announcement that Ireland will “opt in” to the new EU Directive on Victims’ Rights.”
“Some of the Minister’s predecessors have claimed that victims’ rights can only be advanced by watering down fair trial protections, a claim which victims’ organisations know to be untrue. By contrast, if Ireland plays a full part in discussions on the new EU Directive on Victims’ Rights and commits to fully translate the Directive into Irish law and practice, Minister Shatter will have proved that he is a true champion of the human rights of crime victims” Mr Kelly concluded.