The ICCL believes that a fair and just criminal justice system should protect the human rights of defendants and victims alike. The ICCL monitors government policy on an ongoing basis to ensure that fair trial rights are upheld. Our most recent work in this area was the publication of Taking Liberties (June 2008); a report critiquing the notion of ‘Balance’ within the criminal justice system. The ICCL also seeks to secure effective recognition of and protection for the human rights of crime victims and has highlighted these rights in its Charter of Rights for Victims of Crime.
The ICCL has long campaigned for an independent police complaints mechanism and to ensure that individuals are not subject to arbitrary and unjust use of police powers. Following the disbandment of the Garda Complaints Board and the establishment of the independent Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), the ICCL continues to call for adequate support and funding to ensure the GSOC can fulfil its remit to operate independently. The ICCL has also been involved in delivering human rights training to members of the Gardaí and it currently offers strategic human rights advice to the Garda Commissioner through membership of an expert panel.
The judiciary plays a central role in the legal system in upholding human rights standards. Through its policy, research (Justice Matters Part 1 & Part 2) and campaign work the ICCL is seeking improvements in judicial studies to ensure that judges are more aware of their human rights obligations and of diversity issues, together with a system of judicial accountability for members of the public.